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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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….Goes Before A Fall

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

What goes before a fall?   The Good Book says ‘Pride’.  “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)  What is pride, anyway?  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines pride as ‘overweening opinion of one’s own qualities, merits’ and ‘proud’ as ‘haughty, arrogant’.

Roget’s Thesaurus speaks of the double-edged nature of pride.  Many people use the term to refer to satisfaction in their children’s accomplishments, or to self-respect.  But Roget’s Thesaurus reminds that pride is also connected to “arrogance, haughtiness, insolence, loftiness, lordliness, overbearingness, presumption, superiority, narcissism, vanity, egotism.”  Hence we see the origin of the 1960’s slang phrase “ego trip”.

Why is pride spoken of as the first of the seven deadly sins?  Perhaps because pride causes us to forget our Maker: “your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, the land of slavery.”  Pride is basically non-productive and unteachable: “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice”. (Proverbs 13:10)  Pride is self-destructive: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”(Proverbs 11:10)  Pride is the spirit of the mocker: “The proud and arrogant man-“Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.” (Proverbs 21:24).  In High School, many ‘Big Men on Campus’ become proud and mocking while they are ‘the big fish in a small pond’.  But things change when they go into the real world. Pride goes before a fall.

 The most difficult thing about pride is that it is like bad breath: easy to detect in others, and hard to detect in ourselves.  Pride has to do with a sense of entitlement, that we deserve everything that we have, that the world owes us a living.  The most famous human being once said in Mark 7:22 that pride comes from within our hearts and actually makes us unclean (non-kosher).  Pride separates from others, by seducing us into thinking that we are better than others.  Pride is the root cause of every caste system, every class system, and every system of racial hatred.  That is why the Good Book says: “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)  Pride goes before a fall.

Pride makes it very difficult to admit our need for anyone else, even God himself.  Pride feeds the illusion that we are completely independent and self-sufficient.  That is why Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s Kingdom.  Yet real breakthrough happens when we admit our need, our helpless and powerless over life’s struggles.

CS Lewis’ wife, Joy Davidman, resisted her need for God for many years.  She writes: “God had been stalking me for a very long time, waiting for his moment; he crept nearer so silently that I never knew he was there. Then, all at once, he sprang.  For the first time in my life I felt helpless; for the first time my pride was forced to admit that I was not, after all, ‘the master of my fate’.”

Pride and humility are total opposites.  That is why both James and Peter quote Proverbs 3:10 that “God opposes and resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Let me ask you a question: Do we really want the Maker of the Universe to be opposing and resisting us?  Yet that is what is guaranteed if we don’t deal with the pride issue. God will resist us at work, at home, in society.  Pride may not be a big deal to us, but it certainly is to God. Why is God so opposed to pride?  Because it cripples our ability to really love others around us.  As the famous poem in 1st Corinthians 13 puts it, love is not proud.  Why are so many people successful in business and failures at home?  Pride goes before a fall.

Pride, like alcohol addiction, is cunning, baffling, and powerful.  It is almost impossible to destroy head-on.  The secret to taming one’s pride is gratitude and thanksgiving.  As John Fischer puts it, “a thankful heart cancels out pride and arrogance. No need to judge other people when you are thankful for who you are. No need to measure yourself by and compare yourself to others when you are thankful for what God has done in your life.”  Gratitude is a deep sense that life is a gift from a gracious giver.  Gratitude is best expressed by the ancient words: “All things come from You, O Lord, and of your own have we given You.”

 

My prayer for those reading this article is that each of us will gratefully lay our pride and self-sufficiency down at the foot of our Maker.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

for better for worse-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Say No to the Status Quo

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Our family worked for the Woodwards Department Store for many years.  My mother met my father through a Woodwards dance put on for the Air Force servicemen. My sister worked for Woodwards. For one month, I worked for Woodwards at age 17 in Women’s Shoes.  I had no idea how complicated it was to find all those hundreds of shoes hidden on massive shelves in the back of the store.

For many years, Woodwards in Oakridge was our favorite walking destination.  My mother and grandmother loved Woodwards’ famous $1.49 Day sales to which massive crowds would always flock. Woodwards to me was an unshakable permanent institution that had always been there, and would always be there. It was as Canadian as hockey and maple syrup.  Woodwards had been there for one hundred years since Charles Woodwards founded it in 1892.  Then suddenly one day it was gone.  It had been swallowed by its conforming to the status quo.

In Seth Godin’s bestselling book Tribes, he comments that the organizations that need innovation the most are the ones that do the most to stop it from happening.  It is very easy to get stuck, to embrace the status quo, and hunker down. Godin says that this will result in our implosion.  Organizations with a future must be willing to be risk-takers, to embrace creativity and innovation.

Godin says that it is not fear of failure that cripples leaders. It is the fear of criticism.  No one likes to be publicly criticized.  21st-century leaders need to be willing to get out of the boat and pay the price of going first.  In my thirty years as an Anglican clergy, I have sometimes wondered whether I acted too early. At other times, I have been concerned that I was not moving fast enough.   Leaders have to be very sensitive to the still small voice.  Timing is everything in leadership.  We don’t want to rush ahead of God, nor do we want to lag behind.

Godin says that “the largest enemy of change and leadership isn’t a ‘no’. It’s a ‘not yet’. ‘Not yet’ is the safest, easiest way to forestall change. ‘Not yet’ gives the status quo a chance to regroup and put off the inevitable for just a little while longer. Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late….There’s a small price for being too early, but a huge penalty for being too late.”  There have been times in my life when the boat almost left and I was not on it.  There was a time in North Vancouver when I had to make a tough decision that I personally hoped would just go away. I was stuck in the ‘not yets’.  One of my friends sensed this and challenged me to not be a ‘maybe Ed’.  When the time came eight and a half years ago, God gave me the courage to push through my ‘not yets’ and my ‘maybes’.  The rest is history.

Seth Godin teaches that every tribe needs leaders. Managers make widgets and create bureaucracies and factories.  Leaders have followers and make change.  The secret of leadership according to Godin is simple: “Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.”  One of my most palpable fears as a teenager is that I would end up stuck in a job that I would hate and have no way out of. In my thirty years as a clergyperson, I have often felt overwhelmed and inadequate for the task, but I have never regretted devoting my life to serving others as an Anglican priest.

As the leader of St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, I have seen many changes and challenges over the past 23 years.  One of the reasons I am still at St. Simon’s NV is because of the climate of innovation built into its DNA.  Our lay leaders are passionate, committed, and sold out to Jesus Christ.  I admire deeply their willingness to risk all in order to be faithful to their mission and calling.  Seth Godin says that ‘The safer you are with your plans for the future, the riskier it actually is.”  Leadership is a choice: a choice to risk all to be faithful to the vision of a better future. The very nature of leadership, says Godin, is that you’re not doing what’s been done before.

We live in a culture that worships size, buildings and money.  Many of the Woodwards of yesterday have become the dinosaurs of today.  No organization is immune, no matter what its numbers, facilities or financial resources.  If we refuse to innovate, we choose to die.  Remarkable visions and genuine insights, says Godin, are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance.  The forces for mediocrity will align to stop you.  Never give up.

Criticizing hope, says Godin, is easy. Fearful bureaucrats can always say that they’ve done it before and it didn’t work.  But cynicism is a dead-end strategy.  Without hope, there is no future to work for.  Godin observes that without passion and commitment, nothing happens. So often no one in an organization really cares; no one deeply believes in the bigger vision.  No one is willing to sacrifice so that breakthroughs can happen.  Real leaders are willing to pay the price. Real leaders are willing to risk all for the greater good.  Real leaders care.  I challenge each of us reading this article to come up to the plate and choose to be a real leader. Say no to the status quo.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca