Are You Wishing for a Better, Healthier Body?


Just like applying wishful thinking to growing a plant won’t work, applying wishful thinking to getting a healthier body won’t work, either.

I recently received a plant from a friend in a little, metal pot, a “do-it-yourself” kit for growing something green. The pot contains compacted soil, that, when watered expands to make the plant sprout.

If all goes well according to the directions, I will have a baby plant soon. But what if I don’t water my new plant? What if, instead, I just wish it to grow? What if I pray at night that it will grow, and meditate every morning, believing that all things are possible for him—or her—who believes? Will it sprout even though I didn't water it? Of course not. Just like applying wishful thinking to growing my plant won’t work, applying wishful thinking to getting a healthier, better body won’t work either.

In her book Made to Crave, Lysa Terkeurst writes:

“Last spring I took a shortcut through a neighborhood and caught a glimpse of a man planting a flower garden. It was just a quick glance, but long enough to produce a lingering thought: I wish I had a pretty garden.

For years I’ve looked at other people’s flowers and secretly wished for my own lush display. However, the glimpse of this man with his hands digging deep into the earth brought a new revelation. He has a garden because he invests time and energy to make it. He didn't wish it into being. He didn't hope it into being. He didn't just wake up one day and find that a garden of glorious blooms had miraculously popped up from the dirt.

He worked at it. He sacrificed for it.

Day after day. Row after row. Seed by seed. Plant by plant. It took effort, intentionality  sweat equity, and determination. Then it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor. But eventually there was a bloom . . . and then another . . . and then another. I saw this man’s flowers and wished for my own—without a clue about all the work that had gone into producing them. I want the flowers, but not the work. Isn't that the way it is with many things in life—we want the results, but have no desire to put in the work required?

Besides a garden, I also wished for a thinner body for years, but was lax about changing what I ate. When it came to eating, I excused away the necessary discipline. Then I’d catch myself wishing I were thinner and making excuses about my age and metabolism, lamenting the unfairness of my genetic disposition and blah, blah, blah.

The reality is, I can’t eat like an athletic teenager, and then complain about the extra layers of fluff. Or my pants size. Or my tummy pooch. Or my arms that are starting to wave back at me when I raise them. I can’t wish blooms into place any more than I can wish fat away.”

Whether you want a thinner body, a more muscular tone, or just want to take better care of yourself so that you can serve Christ well, remember that a man “reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). I encourage you to take action and stop hoping for change through wishful thinking. Then, make a reasonable plan to get the results you want.


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