Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Though Hungry

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5.6

A World Gone Wrong

It seems harder and harder to get through a day without bumping into a situation that’s blatantly wrong. We watch our leaders distort the truth to manipulate, even mislead, the masses. We observe colleagues in ethical breaches designed solely for their benefit. We witness family and neighbors’ callous disregard for others’ feelings and circumstances. In today’s world, the other guy is always to blame and we’re never at fault.

Who of us hasn’t been on the wrong side of the blame game? At some time or another, we’ve all felt the sting of being falsely accused or stereotyped or cornered into tolerating unacceptable behaviors and attitudes. If we protest too strongly, we’re either tagged as troublemakers or warned to wise up. “That’s how the world works,” we’re told. Maybe it is. But that’s not how we work.

The Righteous Appetite

As sincere followers of Christ, our first priority is His commandment to love God fully and our neighbors as ourselves. This places us in an awkward position when we encounter wrongdoing. Before leaping in to correct the situation, we consider what’s behind it. Almost always, we find the behavior is driven by fear. While that doesn’t justify it, it explains it and gives us no option other than offering love to those whose actions are grossly unlovable.

This makes no sense to the natural mind, but a mind tuned to Christ’s unnatural logic realizes it’s the best, the only, response. Unfortunately, it does nothing to satisfy our deep-seated appetite for righteousness. It leaves us hungry and thirsty. Forced to do without on purpose makes it close to impossible to feel happy about putting Jesus’s principles into practice.

Dinner Is Served

Even so, we can be happy. We can’t forget that righteous people live by faith. We replace what we think and see now with what we already know to expect in the future. Jesus assures us the craving created by wrongs against others and, particularly, us will be filled. Justice will be served.

Psalm 23 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… my cup overflows.” Dinnertime is coming, with more than enough to go around. Always bear in mind that our Host isn’t keen on early-bird specials. He specializes in banquets and takes His time putting them together. As we wait patiently for what He’s prepared, we can surely remain happy though hungry!

You think this is something? Wait until you sit down at Christ's table!

No comments: