by Aaron Kemple
One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. (Proverbs 27:7)
In this proverb, like a lot of the Proverbs, there is a contrast.
- First, there is someone who is full. They have stuffed their bodies so full, that even the taste of the sweetest substance on earth is not appealing to them.
- Then there is the other person who is famished. This guy will take anything you give him and he’ll love it. Raw brussel sprouts with lemon peels? Yum, I’ll take it! Do you remember the woman who described herself as being happy to eat the crumbs from Jesus’ table (Matt 15:27-28)? That’s the image of a truly hungry person.
“Hungry” people have a different perspective on life. When we are so full in our minds by being consumed with the things of this world, we really have a hard time being grateful. Even the sweetest things in life just don’t bring us pleasure. We can be so full of stress, worry, and busy-ness that even a sweet baby playing can be annoying. But then spend time around someone who has faced serious disabilities from birth. A lot of those men and women see even the bitter things as sweet. They are so grateful, joyful, and have a wonderful perspective on life. It might be good for us to spend more time with folks like that. We can learn to develop a “hungry” attitude that appreciates life and our blessings.
“Hungry” people have a different perspective on the Word of God. They will listen to sermons, read the Bible, and dive into the difficult stuff. Even the “bitter” things of the word are sweet because they are so hungry for drawing closer to Jesus. Some of us are so full that we have little desire even for the sweetest things of God. Between “the cares and riches and pleasures of life” (Luke 8:14), there’s just no room. Are you too full on junk to fill your heart with the bread of life? Are all of your entertainment choices and technological toys choking your spiritual appetite? Maybe it’s time for a renewed focus on “tasting” the word. With the Holy Spirit’s living power in that word, you can develop an appetite for what matters most (Heb 6:4-5; 1 Pet 2:1-3).
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
What about you? Are you hungry?