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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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Saying No to Abuse

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

It takes courage to say ‘No’.  It takes courage to stand up against abuse.  Over the years, I have met many people in abusive situations who have paid a great price to eventually extricate themselves from the vicious cycle of manipulation and recrimination.

Sexual and physical abuse, in particular, scars the victim deeply.  Often the victims falsely blame themselves.  Recovery from abuse involves breaking the conspiracy of silence and deception perpetrated by abusers.  As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, we are as sick as our secrets.  Only the truth, however painful, can really set us free.  Secrecy keeps us chained to our abusers.

Part of the cycle of abuse is that abusers are very skilled at blaming the victim.  Many abuse victims internalize these false accusations and begin to blame themselves.  Sexual abuse victims often carry a false sense of guilt and shame.  Breaking false shame off victims can be very liberating.  Sometimes scripture can help release people from such self-rejection: ‘You are already clean because of my word spoken to you’ (John 15:3) and ‘Do not call unclean that which God has made clean’ (Acts 10:15).  All of us need to experience the cleansing stream of God’s Holy Spirit.  All of us need to be washed with the water of the Word, removing our stains and blemishes (Ephesians 5:27).  All of us need catharsis in our daily lives.

Abusers exercise ongoing control over their victims through fear and guilt.  The heart of all addiction is the cycle of fear and guilt.  Breaking the cycle of manipulation will release massive breakthrough in a person’s life.  As the Good Book puts it, perfect love casts out all fear.  Breaking the power of fear is critical to putting the abuse victim on a stable footing.  Abusers are always destabilizing the victim’s environment, causing them to ‘walk on eggshells’.  Abusers will often use ‘divide and conquer’ techniques that cuts the victim off from their natural support network.

God’s truth through Scripture can be most helpful here.  It is not by accident that the phrase ‘Do not fear’ is used over 365 times in the Bible, at least once for every day of the year.  As Timothy was once reminded, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) .  God’s gift of ‘a sound mind’ is key to removing ‘stinking thinking’ and giving us instead peace that passes all understanding.  God hasn’t given us a spirit that makes us a slave again to fear but rather has given us the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15).  The key to breaking fear is realizing that in Jesus, we are adopted, we are chosen, we are accepted in the beloved.  Nothing can cast us away from his loving arms.

Abusers specialize in condemning their victims as bad and unworthy of acceptance.  The Good Book in contrast says that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  Breaking the power of condemnation releases great joy into the lives of abuse victims.  No longer do they need to falsely accuse themselves and beat themselves up.  Instead they learn to accept themselves in Christ’s love.  When the manipulative power of fear and condemnation is broken, victims can become victors in remarkable unexpected ways.  Creativity becomes released. Healthy boundaries become re-established.  Abusers lose their power to control and entrap others.  Victims stop enabling the very behaviours that keep them enslaved.

It all starts when people stop rewarding abusers and start blowing the whistle on them, when people say no to manipulation, say no to fear and guilt, say no to the ways of death and destruction.  It takes courage to reach out to the support networks around you, whether to your teacher, doctor, social worker, counsellor or pastor, but it is well worth it.  It is not your fault.  You deserve better.  Say no to abuse. Say yes to life.  You are worth it.  You are loved.

Two resources that I would recommend in your recovery from abuse are Dr. James Dobson’s book ‘Love Must Be Tough’ and Dr. Townsend & McCloud’s best-selling ‘Boundaries’ book.  My prayer for each person reading this article is that we and our families will be given the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference, in Jesus’ name.

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

-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