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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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Seven Deadly Challenges at the Weight Room

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

How is your work-out working out for you these days?  Studies show that many people who start at the gym with every good intention are nowhere to be found within a few months.  Why is it that so many well-intended people drop out and disappear from fitness?  My hunch is that people drop out from going to the gym for similar reasons that they drop out from going to church.  They may find the times inconvenient, the child care inadequate, the music too loud, too soft, too slow, or too fast, the temperature too hot or too cold, the people too cold or intrusive, the instructor/pastor too busy or controlling.

Virtually everyone that I know nowadays believes in the value of keeping physically fit.  It has been drilled into us by our doctors, teachers, media, and family.  Yet so many of us fall short of our personal health goals.  I sense that a lot of people have transferred their guilt about not attending church enough to a new guilt about not attending the weight room enough.  Guilt, shame, and fear paralyze us in our unhealthy procrastination and avoidance of physical and spiritual growth.  Guilt, shame and fear feed our addictions and unhealthy life choices.  I have known people who felt so guilty about not attending the gym or church that they have overeaten, over-drank, and over-indulged.  More guilt is not the solution to our health issues.

So how can we be set free from our spiritual and physical couch-potato tendencies?  Dr. Gil Stieglitz  says that a great way to get healthy is to memorize the seven deadly sins and then daily measure our current behaviour by those seven criteria.  The first deadly sin/challenge is Pride, which Dr. Gil defines as ‘feelings of superiority, self-absorption, and lack of teachability.’  Sometimes people don’t make it to the gym or church because we have become self-satisfied and unwilling to grow.

The second deadly sin is Envy which Dr. Gil defines as ‘the desire for what belongs to others’.  I have been guilty of that sin many times at the gym.  Why is it taking me so long to get in shape physically or spiritually when others around me seem so healthy?  Sometimes the puny size of my weights or my prayer life can tempt me to not bother to try.

The third deadly sin is Anger which Dr. Gil defines as ‘being blocked from a goal, irritated, seething’.  The person we usually feel most angry at is ourselves, angry that we are not losing weight quickly enough, not improving fast enough, angry that it is taking so long to become Christ-like and loving.  You may have heard the angry comment that the church or gym is full of hypocrites, to which I say ‘there is always room for one more hypocrite’.

The fourth deadly sin is Lust, which is far more than just sexual.  It is really about the need to have it all our way immediately.  Many of us give up on the gym and church, because it is taking too long to achieve our goals.  We want it all right now!  Getting healthy takes time!

 

The fifth deadly sin is Sloth which Dr. Gil defines as ‘laziness, working with a minimum effort, procrastination’.  Going to Church or the gym requires effort, time, and money.  It is often tempting to give in to our feelings of tiredness, discouragement and fear.  Why bother to try?  The Tempter wants us to be physically and spiritually healthy, as long we do it next month, not this month.

The sixth deadly sin is Gluttony which Dr. Gil defines as ‘overindulgence, addiction, seeking comfort’.  Many people feel so embarrassed about their body or soul that they won’t even try.  It’s just too painful.

The seventh deadly sin is Greed which Dr. Gil defines as ‘longing after money and things’.  Greedy people will refuse to go to church or the gym, claiming that ‘all the church/gym wants is your money’.  In fact the gym and church are there for our health, and our health is worth every penny that we invest.  What use is wealth without health?  See you at God’s Gym!

 

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

 -previously published in the 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