“Image is nothing. Thirst is everything.”
I love this quote from the old Sprite commercials. It means that how you look or how others perceive you is irrelevant to your desire for success. The most important thing is what you thirst after. This idea can be seen in the athletes who were drinking the Sprite. We all know Sprite is only good for tummy aches and the flu, but it was a catchy slogan that stuck with me, even 25 years later.
When I think of thirsting for success, I am leery of the temptation to define yourself in what you achieve. As an athlete for many years myself, I have seen amazing athletes work hard and succeed in their sport. The issue comes when the athlete is either physically or mentally incapable of achieving what they did at one point. This has led star athletes into depression and identity crisis. I’m reminded of Rhonda Rousey a famous and dominant, female UFC fighter who lost the title because of a lack of strategy, not capability. It ruined her mentally, and she has never been the same. Achievement is a level of success that has short term satisfaction but can lead to long term identity crisis.
Matthew, a tax collector, who had a life dedicated to achieving success through wealth, had his life flipped upside down, in the best way, by Jesus. He records what Jesus has to say about what we really need to thirst for.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
This passage continues to mess up my life, in a good way. At a glance, you might think that we are back to the old Sprite commercial of thirsting through achieving, but that’s not the point. Here, Jesus declares if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, it fills you up. The question that solves the true meaning of this passage is, ”Where do we get true righteous?” Answer: Jesus.
When we acknowledge and surrender to the fact that Jesus covered our sins on the cross and announces his place as Lord through the resurrection, we become righteous. Thus, it is no longer about achieving but receiving Jesus as Lord.
We are righteous, therefore we can live a more righteous life. It no longer is about what we thirst after but who we thirst after. When we desire to grow in a loving relationship with Jesus, we walk in the identity He has already given us as righteous.
How do we obey our true thirst?
- Surrender your life to Him, and accept He has made you righteous through that.
- Grow closer to Jesus through knowing Him more (prayer, quiet time, spiritual disciplines and community) and knowing about Him (Bible study).
- Make Him your thirst everyday.
- Obey your thirst.
See you Sunday,