We Google 'Best, fastest, muscle, fat burning workout.' Tons of results come back and we compare the before and after pictures, the body transformation section, right? Have you seen some of those people? Those defined muscles, super-toned midsection, nice legs. But do you know how extreme their workout regiment is and their diet to get that transformation?
They had to totally transform their mind from how it use to think, they had to go against the norm of other people's lifestyles, ranging from eating habits, to lazy habits, to time priority habits. They surrounded themselves with other people with like-minds of eating healthy, people who are not lazy, They research new exercises and techniques, they obtain more knowledge of how the body works and then they acted accordingly.
Image that! people can learn and study and make a change. Somehow after reading what all that processed food is doing to your health, after finding out what lack of exercise is doing to your body and the more you hear it and hear it and read it the less appealing and satisfying it becomes to stay in the condition that you are in.
I figure a lot of people can relate to the principles of trying to get fit but we all know the bible states, 'bodily exercise profiteth little...' (1 Timothy) I would imagine that we can also relate to the second part of that verse '....but godliness with contentment is great gain.' We try to achieve this as well, godliness with contentment. Both parts are hard, godliness and then contentment with godliness. Its like godliness is the workout and contentment is the extreme food plan that goes with it. So even if we think the workouts aren't too hard we ALSO have to be temperate with our food decisions?...c'mon that's too much.
Being godly is not very popular, it's not the top 50 searches in Google. In fact, if we studied godliness with contentment as much as we spend studying how to get fit, if we had the same zeal for godliness with contentment as we do about working out and eating healthy, if we were as obsessed with godliness with contentment as we are obsessed with our bodies we will probably be criticized for it, teased about it, people will think we have completely lost it.
You will know that you are close to the end result of godliness with contentment when things that you think are fun become different than things society thinks are fun; things that you enjoy your time doing end up being different than what society enjoys doing. The topics we choose to talk about change, what we watch on television changes, what we choose to listen to changes, perhaps our clothing style changes, and even our jokes might change.
Just like the person in that perfect "After" picture changed their lifestyle, their habits, and probably got teased about being obsessive to get the result they wanted, we also will be looked at as obsessive when our life starts reflecting the zeal for godliness with contentment.
They will think that we are obsessed with something that to them holds little value. If it is turning heads that we wanted by working out, we will probably get a lot more by deciding to live a life that is godly and being content with it.
The truth is, if we are not disciplined in our efforts into getting that result....we will probably not have the transformation that we want. Just like if we are not disciplined (the bible uses the word temperate) in gaining godliness with contentment, we will probably not get the result that we are called to have.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Titus 2:14, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Tim 2:21, 1 Th 4:4
(Clarification: We know that there is nothing in meat or drink, or the clothes we wear, or the the jokes we tell Roman 14:17 and we our salvation does not depend on works of righteousness which we do Titus 3:5 but the word of God effectually works in those that believe 1Th 2:13 and we are to live not as though we had already attained, either were already perfect: but we follow after, if that we may apprehend that for which also we are apprehended of Christ Jesus. Philippians chapter 3 discusses our efforts in transformation in this life.)