Today, we will be visiting a special kind of restaurant. This particular restaurant features a “menu of life” with each item representing a potential area of focus for our lives. There are many different entrees and beverages to choose from. A few of the menu items are listed below. So, what will it be? What are you hungry for today?
Perhaps you’re power-hungry. If so, you’ll want to look at the choices that put you in the best position (in a company, a club, even a church) in which you can tell people what to do. These selections can be frustrating, however. Regardless of how much power is brought your way, you will come to realize that there is always someone who you’re accountable to. As a result, there is always a desire for more power.
Perhaps you’re thirsty for wealth. If so, you’ll be making choices in life based on what brings you the most money. Be aware that there are not many other things in life that easily coexist with these types of choices. You will need to be willing to sacrifice everything — love, friends, personal time, church, etc. — in order to build up your net worth. The thing about wealth, in addition to it being fragile and temporary, is that it’s never enough. Someone who is thirsty for wealth always wants more.
Perhaps you’re hungry for attention. If so, make sure not to skip any available opportunity to talk about yourself and especially focus on things you can do to increase your visibility. These may give you some short-term satisfaction, but be advised that after making any of these choices, you will still be just as hungry for attention and will be checking out the menu again and again for additional opportunities to try to satisfy that.
Do you notice a common theme among the menu selections described above?
- They are all quite expensive (in terms of what they cost you in life)
- They don’t truly satisfy you (you always want more)
Happily, there is a menu selection available that is inexpensive (even free) and that is quite filling and satisfying. Jesus recommends it with the fourth beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Hungering and thirsting after righteousness — what does this entail? Simply put, it means that God will make your choices for you. Righteousness includes the avoidance of sin and other behaviors that are detrimental. However, it doesn’t end there — choosing righteousness also means following God’s direction to take positive actions, such as getting involved in church-related activities and serving mankind in various ways. Making these choices leads to a blessed and fulfilling life.
But, how does it work? If you choose to follow the Lord, does He just zap you with righteousness? Well, not exactly. The version of the Sermon on the Mount recorded in the Americas fills in the rest of the statement for us: “And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 12:6).
Yes, when you choose to give your life to the Lord, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, you’re baptized to purge yourself of the ill effects of all of those other poor menu selections, and then the Lord fills you with the Holy Ghost. This never wears out — as Jesus said on another occasion, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” (John 4:14).
So, what are you hungry for? You can choose to fill your life with the temporary and unfulfilling things of the world, or you can choose the fulfilling and eternal righteousness of God. The menu of life has them all, but Jesus recommends that you choose righteousness and then let the Holy Ghost guide you through a life of following Him.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.