25. Righteous

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

Everyone imagines that his motives are pure. Ask anyone why he made a particular choice and he always will give a righteous reason. You have never heard anyone say, "I did that just to be mean, ugly, and stupid."

It would be good to look back over our past and say our actions are always blameless and full of good intentions. You already know we can't. You faced that issue two pages ago at the mourning beatitude.

Doing any dumb, angry, or revengeful act is painful in two ways. First, it is terribly embarrassing for your mistakes to show up in public. Next, bad results always come from bad acts. So you need to make righteous choices that translate into moral acts for your own sake. It makes life easier.

But that doesn't always happen. The truth is that most of us are as Paul described himself in his letter to the Romans. "I do not control my own actions. I do not do what I want, but do what I would not." Guilt and damage caused by this quirk of human nature makes your soul "hunger and thirst" for right choices and habitual righteousness.

Hungering is a discomfort caused by lack of necessary nutrients. Thirsting is a strong need for life sustaining fluid. Hungering and thirsting puts all other needs into the back of your mind. "I must," you say, "get something to eat and drink, now!"

Built into us is a hunger to be right. We want to be seen as righteous. Righteousness is the food and drink of our spiritual health. It makes us comfortable. To be complete, we must be righteous: free from guilt, shame, and sin.

Being made righteous is to be set upright and in conformity with God's laws. You can depend on God's promise to grow his righteousness in you.

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