When I decided to do my first competition, my motive and intention were pure. I had been training consistently for a few years. A show was something I wanted to do to challenge myself, it was a personal goal. I wanted to work hard, and finish. It was a goal I genuinely wanted to commit to and go after.
My motives for competing however began to come from a place of placing my worth, and my value in being a competitor, seeking and searching for happiness and fulfillment.
I am learning now that we can easily deceive ourselves. It is important for us to examine our hearts and motives behind why we are doing things. It can be as simple as asking yourself, why you are doing this, why you want something, and what is your motive behind it. You can also ask the Holy Spirit for help, asking the Spirit of Truth to reveal to you hidden motives and agendas in your heart.
Our nature is self-centered, prideful, discontent and desires approval from the world. It is very easy for us to go after something or do something out of self-centered or prideful agendas. It is also easy for us to think we are doing something because we want to, but if we slow down, stop, think about it, and really question our motives, we might find that we often behave and act out of patterns in our lives that we have been doing for years that are unresourceful ways to meet our needs. We might also find that we are doing things out of approval of others, or even because of others disapproving. We may or may not be doing things out of insecurities we are unaware of.
Fitness is something that has grown in popularity over the years, so it seems like everyone wants to do it and get into it. It’s common to hear people say they want to get into fitness. To that I ask, what is it for? Even for myself, I examine myself, my agendas, my thoughts and actions, my motives and how I relate to things, especially fitness.
It behooves us to be mindful and intentional in having a healthy relationship with fitness, to want to take care of our bodies, our health, for the sake of feeling and functioning our best. To improve our fitness for better health to perform better at work or have the energy to spend with our family. Desiring to get stronger, and perform well, are worthy goals, as well as wanting to lose weight for health and confidence.
Where we need to examine ourselves is if we might be getting into fitness for vane, narcissistic, egocentric reasons. If we are looking to fitness to find happiness or looking to fitness to fill a void or emptiness inside of us. If we are looking to fitness to give us worth, value or identity.
Fitness is a great hobby and lifestyle to live, with the caveat of when are pursuing it for the right reasons, attitude and being mindful to relate to it in a healthy way. Fitness is a means to an end. Fitness is a means to an end goal of complete health: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual. Fitness is a means of taking care of our physical bodies and health to honor God. Fitness is a means to be a good steward of our bodies, our temple that God has gifted us with. Fitness is a means to pursue godliness in all we do, godliness with our bodies, our nutrition, and our training sessions. Fitness is a means to worship God. Fitness is a means to bring pleasure to God when we give thanks for our health and our bodies. Fitness is a means to bring pleasure to God when we enjoy his creation, such as our bodies. Fitness is also a means to serve God when we help and encourage others in the gym. Fitness is also meant to serve God when we use our passion and God-given abilities and talents in fitness and health to help others.
I have been using these verses a lot when it comes to examining myself and my motives. I desire pure motives, a pure heart, to live in the ways God intends me to and to walk the narrow path. I want to give careful thought to my motives behind actions and to be careful about the actions I take.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me
Proverbs 4:26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways
Psalm 16:2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord
Charissa Sutliff is an Online Fitness & Nutrition Development Coach, a Competition Prep Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and holds a B.S. in Kinesiology. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education Administration. She is enthusiastic about faith, working out, healthy nutrition, meditating, learning, growing and coffee!