It was the summer of 1980. I was 13 years old.
And I was the hungriest I’d ever been in my life.
There was a group of 25 of us who were invited to participate. It was an honor and I was glad to be there.
But it was difficult for a 13 year-old because we had to:
- Spend the weekend working at the camp
- Remain silent the entire time
- Sleep by ourselves out in the woods, with no tent or sleeping bag
- Not eat any food for 2 days
Weird? Maybe. Consider it an early testosterone-laden initiation.
But you can see why I was so hungry.
Staying hungry impacted my thinking
Of course, I was nowhere near as hungry as many people in the world are every day, but for a teenager who’d never missed a meal in his life, it felt like I was starving.
Though I was plenty busy, it only took about 12 hours of not eating for my thoughts to be on one thing only – food.
I wanted to eat. Badly.
I couldn’t sleep because my growling stomach kept me awake.
I was consumed with the thought of consuming something, anything, to satisfy the gnawing in my belly.
And to make matters worse, the light at the end of the dark hunger-tunnel was that we were promised that if we made it to the end, we’d be given a lavish banquet.
That focused my thoughts on food even more.
Staying hungry as an adult
When I hit adulthood I began to hear the phrase “stay hungry” in a variety of circles.
Because of my boy scout “ordeal” I had a pretty good idea of what was meant by it.
Hunger drives you. Hunger keeps you focused (on the thought of food). Hunger won’t let you rest.
So when I heard sports figures or business gurus say that success requires that you “stay hungry,” I knew exactly what they were getting at.
They meant that you had to set a goal and keep it before you at all times.
You had to desire something, one thing, more than you’d ever desired anything before.
They meant you had to become obsessed with that one thing.
How should a Christian business person stay hungry?
All of that is great advice… if you are your own man or woman.
If you call the shots in your life.
If you don’t answer to anyone. Ever.
But those are not descriptions that fit a Christian.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 6:5
It doesn’t really matter what your lot in life is (business, homemaking, trench digging, plumbing, etc.), you have the same calling as every other Christ-follower.
You are to stay hungry – for righteousness.
Nothing can take the place of that desire. Nothing should outshadow it.
It’s difficult to be THAT kind of hungry in business
because there are so many other things to be hungry for… so many other things that vie for that place of obsessive attention:
- a greater market share
and the list goes on.
So what do you do?
It’s not easy, but it begins at the beginning of every, single day.
Getting hungry in the morning
Your morning is vital to your day.
Whether you’ve ever taken to a morning “quiet time” or “daily devotional” is not the point. The point is that morning is the time you’ve got to set your mind and heart for the day ahead.
In the context of what we’re talking about, the morning is when you’ve got to stoke your hunger – for righteousness.
If you don’t do it then, I can guarantee you the competing options that rise up through the busy business day will squelch it altogether.
…to put yourself in a place where God is able to create the hunger in you that you desperately need.
I’d suggest you create some sort of regular, methodical routine that you follow consistently.
For me, it’s my “Morning Mindset Reset” which you can read about at this linked post.
Whatever it is that you do, you’ve GOT to do something. If you don’t you’ll become hungry for other things.
You will. Believe me.
I’ve seen it too many times in my life and in the lives of those I’ve coached or counseled.
Staying hungry throughout the day
Morning is good. But it’s not enough.
This is where it has to get practical. You’ve got to resort to small, simple things to remind you to say a quick prayer, open the scriptures for a quick bite of spiritual food, or take a deep breath as you rely once again on the Spirit of God.
Here are some suggestions:
- 3X5 cards in your pocket with pertinent verses or quotes to inspire you
- Sticky notes on the dash of your car or inside your cubicle
- Alarms on your phone to remind you to rest in Christ, abide in Him, or say a quick prayer
- Use a service like Follow Up Then to prompt your hunger via email
You get the idea. The main point is that YOU have got to do something to remind yourself to be hungry for righteousness.
Please don’t take this lightly. You won’t like the results that come from being hungry for other things.
Everything else you hunger for will turn to sand in your mouth and sourness in your belly.
The result of staying hungry for righteousness
The scripture I quoted earlier is pretty clear. If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, Jesus promises…
they shall be satisfied.
The clear implication is that we’ll be satisfied with what we hunger for, RIGHTEOUSNESS.
That’s a great deal. One I want in on every, single day.
It’s my prayer that you do too. (Yes, I am really praying for you as I write this.)
To wrap up… here’s a brief video on this subject that I posted on the Christians in Business Community over on Google Plus.
If you’d like to share your hunger with other brothers and sisters who are in the business world too, it’s a great place to check out.
I’d love to hear your tips, tactics, and strategies for staying hungry throughout life. And if you’d like someone to coach you in how to develop these kinds of soul-sustaining practices, I’m here to help.
Please, let me know how the LORD has instructed you in this area in the comments below!