Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (v. 6).
My husband says I am a rule follower. To me, following the rules makes sense. They make life orderly and more equitable. Following rules is respectful. My husband, however, is more of a principles follower. To him, rules are guidelines that can be adjusted as the situation calls for it, particularly in contexts where rules are unfair or unjust.
Both approaches have their merits and help us pursue righteousness in our own ways. Unfortunately, when my rules-based approach becomes dogmatic and motivated by fear or control instead of respect and equity, I can lose sight of seeking the righteousness God prescribes. Likewise, when my husband’s principle-based approach becomes self-serving or simply convenient, justice may not be his motivation either.
Righteousness involves an all-encompassing, daily search. We hunger and thirst for righteousness because we will never be full as long as we live in a world with so much injustice. In the midst of our flawed society filled with flawed people, the pursuit of righteousness is a thankless, never-ending, and exhausting process.
Jesus’ blessing offers the promise that life will not always be this way. In him we see someone who neither follows nor breaks all of the established rules. In him we find someone who transforms rules to fulfill their godly purpose. He reminds us that God is the beginning and end of all things. Our constant work to seek goodness and righteousness will be satisfied. Until then, we keep seeking, keep hungering, keep thirsting, and keep striving for righteousness.
How do I seek righteousness? What one step could I take today to make my community better?
God, thank you for showing us what righteousness looks like in the form of Jesus. Help us seek it and align our actions and hearts with yours. Amen.