We will fight for peace, but we will do no violence.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cold Hard Facts by Scott Whaley



Maybe I have just been teaching too long, or maybe it is just the realization that raw emotions have a tendency to let me down.  Whatever the case, and I am sure I will think on it until I figure it out. I am a disciple of logic.  I find comfort in dealing with facts and provable ideas.  I like determining cause and effect.  And I drool over analysis.  I want to know what happened, how it happened, and most importantly why it happened.  It is close to obsessive behavior at times.

I have found in my years as a student and teacher (and dad and husband and employee and employer and taxpayer and good citizen) that the teachings of Christ during His earthly ministry are perhaps the most logical schools of thought I have ever encountered.  And my personal favorites from His everlasting legacy are those known as the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. 

In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  That seems illogical on the surface.  We live in a world tainted by the unholiness of injustice.  So it appears that well is fairly dry, or else Jesus is a starry-eyed dreamer putting an idealistic spin on some ludicrous notion of the Common Good.

But take a closer look: Jesus did not say that those who find righteousness will be filled.  He said those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.  To hunger and thirst in this regard means to seek or to search for righteousness.  And it is in the seeking that we are filled!  I know of no one (and I really mean no one) who has pursued justice or compassion or love and not come away filled.  If the pursuit is in earnest, it will be fulfilling.  It cannot NOT be.  The cold, hard facts of Jesus’ statement here is that there is a great deal of internal satisfaction found in service of others, the proverbial warm fuzzy.  But helping others is not a checklist item.  Rather it is a constant journey that brings constant joy.

Sure there will be hardship, but there is hardship in everything.  The hunger and thirst for righteousness will not always lead to the righteous.  But it will certainly lead to being filled.  And that is logic I can understand.

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