I have worked in some ethically challenging environments, and this is a lesson from Jesus I learned too late. A simple way to define “righteousness” is: doing the right thing. I’ve read that the Greek words for “hunger” and “thirst” used here have a lot of intensity to them, so the idea is that we’re blessed when we are starving to death and dying of thirst to do the right thing. If doing the right thing slips into second or third place in our hierarchy of values — behind money, power or ego — it might as well fall right off the list. Jesus says we need to have a consuming passion for righteousness, just like a starving person has for food or an extremely thirsty person has for water. Jesus hungered and thirsted to this degree: choosing to go the cross instead of cashing in his Messiahship. How we “will be filled” is a bit of mystery, but at some very basic level, doing the right thing is its own reward, because it fulfills who we really are. Try to think of how you could get hungrier and thirstier for doing the right thing today.
Forgive me Lord when I try to snack on and sip righteousness, and fill up on lesser stuff. Doing the right thing is doing your things, your way. I want to be trained by your words and your Spirit, so your path is my passion. Amen.