Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Matthew 5: 6


Hunger and thirst are strong motivators for all living things. Both plants and animals are designed to respond to these needs. People are especially well equipped by our Creator to do something about the situation when we lack either water or food. There is nothing accidental or evolutionary about this aspect of how we function. It is built into both the design of our bodies and the mandate that God gave to humans in those early days in the garden. We possess the capability and the authority to meet our needs and to care about and for those of others as we take care of the rest of God’s earthly creation.


Jesus was fully aware of these fundamental drives in people. So, when He used hunger and thirst as a descriptive device in this time of teaching about dwelling in God’s kingdom come upon the earth, He was discussing a fundamental reality of how people are designed and about the way that we function. We all experience hunger and thirst, and everyone has desires for certain things. The need to be fed and to obtain water is one of those desires that operates at our core. It does not go away with age, over time, or through developing new habits. However, it can be directed and controlled. We do learn to eat better foods, and we develop the skill to select healthy forms of fluid consumption.


So too is the way of our relationship with God. All people have a desire to know and to be known by the entity that made them, a god, if you will, Even people who claim to deny the existence of any form of god are seeking after something that explains their place in the universe. We develop and train our desires by the way that we live, and we form them by the exercise of our faith in life. In desiring to be a follower of Christ, I seek after those things which are His nature and surrender my will to be shaped by His Spirit into a person who functions out of Christ’s character within me. Righteousness is a part of the foundational platform that defines God and that distinguishes His people from the rest of the world. As I grow and mature in my faith in Christ, these basic drives of hungering and thirsting become more and more directed toward thinking and living in response to Christ’s call to discipleship, and He never fails to fill me beyond my need to the point of true satisfaction.


Thanks to James K A Smith for helping to shape these thoughts.