I recently had a conversation with an eight-year-old named Alex about what the Christian life is like. I used an old story to help him understand, just as Jesus used parables to compare everyday life with the deeper spiritual life.
A man who drank heavily was converted to Christ and stayed away from alcohol for several weeks. One day as he passed the open door of a bar, the strong odor aroused his old appetite for liquor. Just then, he saw this sign in the window of a nearby café, “All the buttermilk you can drink—twenty-five cents!” I told you it was an old story! Dashing inside, he opened his mouth and ordered, “Fill ‘er up!” He drank one glass of buttermilk after another. After finishing the sixth glass, he walked past the bar and was no longer tempted. Why? He was so full of buttermilk that he wasn’t thirsty for anything else.
In light of that story, you might remember something that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
It’s a simple story with a plain truth. If your life is filled with good things like God’s righteousness, you will not only be satisfied, but you will not have room for what is harmful and detrimental.
Take a moment to think about what you have filled your life with. Has it been beneficial to you and your family and friends or has it been detrimental to your relationships and maybe even your health? A lot of the time it has to do with your appetite, what you are hungry and thirsty for. I’m not just talking about what you eat and drink, though it could apply to that, but what you crave deep down inside. We feel thirsty in our souls. What do we quench it with? We feel a hunger for fulfillment in life. How do we satisfy it?
Reader, God has a gift for you! It is his righteousness. It is God’s goodness, love, and power to change lives. It is what fills and satisfies our lives with good things. You will find it in what we call the gospel. Try it before you are tempted to fill your life with something that is addictive and destructive.