Just because we are sorrowful about our sin doesn’t mean that we are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. Hungering is an active state, while sorrow is passive. We can’t “passive” our way into godliness. When we have a yes to the Holy Spirit and are overcome by hunger and thirst for His righteousness, then we will be filled and satisfied.
Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.
Matthew 5:6 AMP
Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
Scripture shows that righteousness is having right relationship with God. To hunger and thirst after righteousness leads us to experience the satisfaction and fullness of God. My Shepherd satisfies all my hunger and thirst for Him (Psalms 23:1). If I hunger and thirst after His righteousness, then I’m actively pursuing right relationship with Him.
Grief about our sinful condition is not actual repentance for our sin. I can experience sadness because I am sinful. I can be sorrowful that I am not who I want to be, but that is not going to assist me to experience God’s righteousness or end my separation from Him. Personally, I can hate my condition but again, that isn’t going to resolve it.
Hungering and Thirsting
Hungering and thirsting is visceral. I don’t seek to satisfy my hunger or thirst in a half-hearted way; I pursue with fervency its quenching. I’m not moseying over to overcome hunger, I satisfy it with immediacy. Yes, I do it with passion. Right NOW! And this is how the Beatitudes invite me to come – with hunger and thirst, fervency and visceral passion. God must be required as my vital necessity, like satisfying physical hunger and thirst. “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Deut. 4:29-30 AMP).
Seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness is all about Him. Sorrow is simply involvement with self. And oddly, when we remain in sorrow about our besetting sins, it can actually be a holding factor tying us to those sins. Excessive sorrow is unbelief in Christ’s work of redemption, which the devil will use to hold us to our sin. Sorrow entangles us with our sin. Just imagine, grief about my sin can keep me in it!
Grief is intended to be a gateway to repentance and God’s goodness, not a destination (Romans 2:4).
Sorrow about My Sin
Sin is intended to give us grief and sorrow, but when we remain in that sorrow, we also remain in the grievous sin which caused us sorrow in the first place. Sorrow becomes an anchor keeping us from God’s freedom. Crazy, huh?!
Inordinate sorrow is self-punishment for sin. It also is a refusal of the Grace and Mercy of God. Genuine sorrow can become a quagmire of despair. In essence, it is not leaving what is behind. This leaving was one of the things that made Paul what he was. He left his murderous past and entered Christ. He didn’t maintain his sorrow, he left it behind. If God has forgotten my sin, then why can’t I? Staying in sorrow holds onto the sin God forgave and forgot when I repented.