Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hunger and Satisfaction - Living Lesson

by: Christopher Wiles

Jesus conveyed deep spiritual truths by using object lessons from the living world around Him.  As we draw people to the foot of the cross, we can do the same.

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be filled.” ~ Matthew 5:6

If you’re not hungry, you’ll never be filled:  I spent about twenty minutes listening to one of the owners of a local restaurant (we'll call him "Mike"), offer his views on religion, Christian values, and God.  Mike claims a serious belief of Jesus Christ and employs Jesus’ golden rule at the restaurant with his customers.  Yet, Mike confessed that he struggles with going to church services in America because of what he sees from church goers on Sunday afternoons.   His observation is that the Sunday afternoon church crowd is his most merciless, difficult, complaining group all week.  He often wonders why his church groups complain about “slow” service and toast not toasted like “momma used to make it” more than anyone else.  Mike questions, “Why are middle-class well-dressed church-goers leaving sermons on grace and mercy only to treat those who serve them lunch with rude and graceless attitudes?”    What’s the disconnect between Sunday morning sermon and Sunday afternoon living?

Thinking of Francisco in Honduras,
who appreciated this English/Spanish
Bible more than any food we gave him.
He offers this analogy to explain his most difficult group.  He asked me, “Christopher, have you ever been hungry?”  He went further to say that he wasn’t talking about being hungry three hours after a meal with a little stomach growl.  He was talking about being hungry like third-world hungry, or even fasting for extended times like people in the Bible.  Mike made the point that when you’re REALLY hungry, you don’t complain about the level of “toastiness” and you don’t complain if today’s service took two minutes longer than last week’s service.  He believes that church groups complain more about little things because they aren’t really hungry.  When you’re REALLY hungry, your response is simply one of gratitude for the service you’ve been given. 

As a Christian, are we really hungry for God’s Word and His Blessings, or are we the group that only utters words of criticism and complaint?  Maybe we complain so much because we aren’t really spiritually hungry.  Maybe our spiritual hunger is more of a “wanting pleasures” than it is a “hunger for righteousness.”  Dwell deeply on this as you comment on the worship length, song service mood, Bible study, and preacher's thoughts this Sunday at lunch.  Oh, and please tip your servers at lunch with more than a complaint.

Hunger for pleasures and never be filled; Hunger for righteousness and be filled daily. 

Living Lessons are articles written for the weekly Washington Church of Christ bulletin.  You can find more by clicking HERE or searching for "Living Lesson" in the right sidebar search.