“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”~Matthew 5:6
The next be attitude that Jesus gives us in the Sermon on the Mount, is having a determined spirit when seeking righteousness. He lists here the two most important physical needs we have and they are food and water. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness is important, as important as hydrating and feeding for your body. It’s feeding and hydrating your spirit man when you seek righteousness. The next tool we use to get up a mountain is not a physical tool, but a mental tool and a heart tool, which is determination. Determination comes from a goal, a sought out goal, that is achievable and nothing will stop you from getting to that goal. No obstacle will get in your way as you aim for that goal. You are in essence hungering and thirsting for that goal. In this case, the top of the mountain is righteousness. I look at righteous behavior, as we should view unconditional love, we need to first love God, then love ourselves, then love others.
You can look at righteousness defined by Jesus in Luke 10:27: He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The first part of the definition is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. It begins with your heart; you love God for creating you and making the life that you are living. I think some people struggle with this because life has many times that can be at a low point. They look in the mirror and see a less than perfect image of what they want to see. The job they have is not rewarding. The person they married isn’t the one that was perfect for them. Sometimes the issues seem to overwhelm the blessings. Part of the motivating factor of determination is to have hope, hope that one day you will make it to the summit of the mountain. Know that you are a blessing to God and He looks at you as perfect and without blemish because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross. Soul is your attitude. Your attitude toward God should be that of constant thanksgiving, for making you this way. Strength is your character. Your character should reflect that image of Christ, and when I say reflect, it’s always less than perfect. The key here is to seek. The last part of loving God is with your mind. Keep reading God’s word and continue gaining knowledge of Him. Spend time in prayer with Him.
The next part of love that gets us to righteous behavior is loving ourselves. As Jesus said this is the only way we can love others. The key to loving others the best and most righteous way is to start with yourself. Righteous behavior can be as simple as brushing your teeth after every meal. It may not seem like much, but it can physically hurt you if you don’t properly take care of your physical needs. Exercise and eating right is also loving yourself the correct way. People don’t take the time to spend time alone to think things through and to get in the right frame of mind. They are stuck in a destructive routine that takes away years of their lives. We talked about physical needs, we talked about psychological needs, we also need to tend to our spiritual needs as listed above. All of these love statements Jesus talks about are all intertwined.
The last love statement that moves us toward righteous living is loving our neighbor as yourself. Who is your neighbor, it’s not just the dude next store, it’s all of the 7.13 billion people that share the air with you on this Earth. I’m not saying that you have to touch every one of these lives, but you need to inspire the ones that surround you every day, that you come in contact with. Look for opportunities to help others. Life is a struggle and if you only focus on your struggles, you will never get past the middle of the mountain. Be someone’s angel today. Take time to be a help without expecting anything in return. That is righteous behavior and it’s the best feeling in the world.
Righteous determination is loving God with all you have. Loving yourself with all you have. Loving others with all you have. Righteous behavior starts with your thinking and then acting in the way Jesus would act. Being someone’s angel.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.