The First 15

Monday August 31, 2020

by Sharon Reid

Righteousness

Scripture

Matthew 5:6

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

Reflection

This teaching from Jesus is part of what we call the Beatitudes. Each beatitude describes a way of blessing. This beatitude is about the blessing received by those who long for righteousness.

I grew up with an incorrect understanding of the kind of righteousness Jesus is talking about here. I professed faith in Jesus but my understanding of righteousness was still centered on me and my ability to be a good person. I understood righteousness as virtue, maintaining behavior that showed perfect moral standards. I failed at that definition of righteousness over and over again. We all do.

But, Jesus wasn’t teaching about virtue in this beatitude.

Jesus was teaching about a right relationship with God, a right understanding of who God is.

With a right understanding of who God is, I understand God as good, beautiful and true and I learn to trust in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a right understanding of what my relationship with God can be, I understand that I am made in God’s image, that God’s gaze toward me is always inexhaustibly overflowing with grace, and that God already views me as good and worthy of God’s great love. If these understandings are skewed then my relationship with God also remains skewed, it just isn’t right, and I then struggle to mirror back God’s loving, grace-filled gaze.

When Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” he was inviting us to acknowledge our deep longing for a right relationship with God, our deep longing for a right understanding of who God is. But acknowledging our deep longings in relationships is not an easy thing to do. So we often choose to numb the need instead.

Jesus promises a blessing if we do the work. When we acknowledge our emptiness, our weakness, our unknowing, our need for a right relationship with God, then, God will quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger.

  • What is helping you grow in your understanding of who God is?
  • What deep longing in your relationship do you want to acknowledge and share with God today?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help me acknowledge to you now the deep longings I feel in my relationship with you. Help me see what needs to be set right. I want to continue to grow in my understanding of who you are and what our relationship can be. Thank you for blessing me with your grace. I will not lose hope in your promise. Amen.

The First 15

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