Who doesn’t enjoy being right? I know in my family it’s a personal challenge. The underlying question, though, shouldn’t be who is right but in whose eyes are you right? That makes all the difference in the world. As Jesus continued with His teaching from Matt. 5 He makes the statement that people will call you blessed if you hunger and thirst for righteousness. With that desire, He declares, you will be satisfied. Is He talking about being right all the time? Let’s explore it for a moment.
Yes, I want to be right. However, as a believer in Jesus Christ I want to be right in His eyes, not my own. After I have entered into this new relationship with Christ, I have been spiritually reborn, my desire for rightness moves from my own eyes to His. His sacrifice on the cross in my place purchased this clean record for me and now I am pure and holy, spiritually, in Him. But I have to move on. My desire, my hunger and thirst, my spiritual appetites, move on from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. That should be our spiritual progression.
Sanctification is a big word for walking rightly with God. It’s our everyday life lived with this craving to be viewed by Him as holy and blameless: right. This attitude cannot include constantly getting our own way, getting even for a wrong suffered, or taking retaliation against someone even when they deserve it. Holding bitterness in your heart until you are ready to explode at the mention of a name is not right.
Jesus is teaching us in this sermon how to live in the Kingdom of God. He is giving us a better way, a higher way, a way that is right in His eyes. King David had this deep craving, listen to His declaration:
Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied. (Psalms 17:15 NLT)
That’s kingdom living. Walking with God every day with His perspective in mind. This verse isn’t about justification, being declared innocent of our sin, it’s about caring what Jesus thinks about us. It’s about His opinion, not ours. David didn’t do everything right but He had that confidence that God was leading him in his decisions.
I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from my guilt. So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. (Psalm 18:23, 24 ESV)
I want to hunger and thirst for rightness in God’s eyes. If I say I don’t care then my heart is obviously already filled: with myself. The mother of Jesus prophesied in Luke 1:53 that the Messiah would fill the hungry with good things but the rich He would send away empty. Ouch.
So go ahead and be right, He wants you to. But make sure that your rightness is His rightness.