Eating Right (Spiritually)


Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

You’ve been hungry before haven’t you? Thirsty? I know I have. There was a time that I lost my job and went three months without money to by food or pay my rent. If it wasn’t for some fine church friends, I wouldn’t have made it. When you rely on others for food, you have to ration your food so that you can eat later. I’ve been hungry.

I’ve also been thirsty. I’ve been dehydrated. My muscles ached. My body hurt. I’ve been thirsty.

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is wanting heavily to rightly obey God and his commands. Thankfully because we are destined for Hell because of sin in the world, we have a good God who gives us grace and mercy. However because of grace that doesn’t mean we should continue on sinning (Romans 6). We should want to be like Christ, to be holy as God is holy. Everyday should be an attempt to be better than the last.

However if you’re like me sometimes, you’re not that hungry everyday. Maybe it’s because we fill up on junk food. Things like being satisfied in our work, our hobbies, things that bring us an empty happiness that doesn’t last long. It rots. It rusts. It will eventually wither like the grass, the spiritual equivalent of a Fudge Round or Twinkie.

Yet we like the sugary fatness of worldly goods. It’s sweet to the taste and we don’t care about the bitterness in our stomach. It’s fluff and has no nutritional value to our spirit. It simply amuses us for the moment, appeases our flesh for a time, and pacifies our longing for something more. We’re ok with the momentary value of spiritual junk food. It’s as if we would rather get by for the moment on a sugary substance rather than elongating our lives with the filling meat and water that righteousness provides us.

I love Fudge Rounds and Mountain Dews. I could be their representatives for free. They wouldn’t have to pay me. Ok, maybe they could pay me in a lifetime supply. Let’s say they did. They have absolutely no nutritional value for my body and if I lived on that alone, I would be dead within a year. The same goes for our spiritual body. We can’t conciliate our hunger and thirst with spiritual junk food. It doesn’t lead to a quality of life worth living.

Proverbs 5:3-4 says “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.” 

The same can be said of any sin. It’s tastes great for the moment. It’s satisfies our momentary desire but soon we feel the bitterness as it lies in our stomach eating at us all day. It tears at our soul. It rips at our very being until we do something about it. We repent or we push it under the rug as if it’s not that big of a deal. Regardless, it worries us and makes us ill. This is what junk food does to our soul. That’s not a life worth living.

It’s righteousness that’s worth living for. It’s righteousness that leads us to a life that’s abundant. We need to hunger and thirst for it. Beg at the table of God for it. Do what it takes to oppose the junk food and desire the good stuff. I know it’s difficult. Junk food is cheaper. It’s gained a lot easier. we just have to remember something worth having is worth working for. If you and I want to be satisfied with life, the only way we can do that is deeply hunger and thirst for righteousness.

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

3 Responses to Eating Right (Spiritually)

  1. Brad says:

    I read your article and it is as right and true as it can be except of the last line. Righteousness is not something to be worked for. That is the downfall of the Pharisees and those who think they can be righteous by doing something. God makes us righteous by faith. Abraham was righteous in God’s eyes because of his faith. Your enjoyment of Mountain Dew is basically because you have tasted it and found it to be enjoyable. We are told to “taste and see that the Lord is Good.” From that moment of that first taste, we should be as though we can’t get enough. How man times a day do you drink Mountain Dew? How many times a day do you go to the well that never runs dry? How often is either one of them a chore? We work because we have to. We enjoy because we want to.

    Have a great day enjoying Jesus.

    Brad

    • Kevin Riner says:

      Brad, I appreciate you reading my blog. I appreciate that you may disagree with something I said. However, I think that last line is just a rewording of what Jesus himself said, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” I’m not sure I ever meant that righteousness was something to be worked for but I do believe it’s something that needs to be heavily desired.

      Sure We are made righteous through God’s good grace however we must want that. We must want God’s grace. We must desire to have God’s righteousness. The main point I was trying to make with my blog is that most folks on want the salvation, the eternal reward of heaven but don’t want the righteous life that God offers.

      • Brad says:

        I disagree with working for righteousness for the very reason you stated. You are correct in saying most people don’t want the righteousness of God and the reason is that they think it requires much work and change to conform to what God is requiring. When God says, Be holy as I am holy”, there is no one who can even come close to what he requires. Unless you do not equate holiness with righteousness. Ben Franklin said, “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and I believe holiness is Godliness. Paul says in Phil. 2:12-13 “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Us working out is not a matter of doing something to make us right but letting out the work that God is doing in us. When a butterfly comes out of a cocoon, it is working out what has been worked into it. I’ll be willing to believe your willingness to tout the good taste of Mountain Dew is along those same lines. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, they were saved from slavery. He spent 40 years working to get Egypt out of them so that they would be fit for the land he had promised them. We are not in a debate of semantics. The problem is the desire to meet people where they are and encourage them forward. Choosing our words wisely makes a real difference. Look closely at all the times the Pharisees shot themselves in the foot because of the words they chose.

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