I heard the story of an overweight woman who signed up at a fitness club. She wanted to be more attractive to her husband and felt her weight was putting a strain on the marriage. The fitness instructor brought her to stand in front of one of the large mirrors and drew two curvaceous lines which would someday represent the outline of the woman’s new figure. “Won’t my husband be happy then?”, the woman thought to herself. Each day she came to the fitness center and she worked hard even if her bulges didn’t fit inside the lines on the mirror. And persistence paid off and soon she was was sporting a new figure with a whole new attitude along with a new boyfriend. With all of the change, she decided she no longer cared about pleasing her husband. And just maybe it never REALLY was her motivation.
What you really want will determine a lot about where you end up. If all we want is just one more thing to satisfy our flesh or our vanity, there is doubtless nothing that will bring true satisfaction. If Jesus wanted only to satisfy the flesh, he might have turned the stone to bread. If Paul put much stock in his worldly achievements and pursuits, he might have given less to the cause of Christ. He said,
“13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13,14)
Going to heaven was always in the front of his mind. Doing the will of the Father was Jesus’ motivation. Imagine if the woman had had a healthy view of her marriage. Imagine if her words “til death do us part” meant real commitment to her husband. Her affections wouldn’t have turned as her body transformed into its healthy new shape. She might still be enjoying the beautiful marriage that God intended.
Physical fitness is important, but it does not need to lead to vanity if we will truly seek godliness. Paul said to Timothy, “...On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7,8) What you REALLY want will usually be satisfied because it is what drives you the most. If you are a Christian and seek the great chance for happiness in God, then REALLY want godliness. True blessedness will follow in this life and in the life to come.