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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Feed The Ego!

Updated on May 31, 2015

Life is good if we choose to make it so.

A statue and some pigeons and this boy is good to go!
A statue and some pigeons and this boy is good to go! | Source

Do you feel ugly?

Perhaps today the poor concept of ego has gotten a bad rap. It is up there with words like discrimination and smoking. Hey they are just words with meanings they are not bad in and of themselves. I discriminate against a certain colored shirt that makes me look pale and if a barbeque is not smoking at some point it will not cook dinner. Last month coffee was good for you and this week it is not. Not too long ago “The Internet” had an image problem.

Let us look at the ego as something that just is. Not good or bad in itself but rather good or bad with what we make of it. I have an ego! There I said it, the cat is out of the bag. Sometimes I like my ego and sometimes I do not.

Let us start out with a little story about a simple man and his ego in these modern times.

The man had gained weight. Too much weight. Finally he joined a gym. He lost 25 pounds out of 265. He was actually getting into decent shape. At least the kind of shape where he could see all his body parts and tie his shoes and tuck in a shirt. On a certain day at a certain time at the gym while working out, for the first time in perhaps years, a young lady smiled at him with all pleasantness. The man beamed with confidence and continued his work out even harder. He was certain that he was looking like a good healthy human being again and that that was why the lady smiled at him.

I am I said.

I wonder if the flower knows that it is beautiful.

Somethings are nice to look at just because they are pretty.
Somethings are nice to look at just because they are pretty. | Source

Once I thought I was lazy I became lazy.

Oh what fools we human are. We are so self-absorbed that we actually believe that what we see in ourselves is what the world sees in us. The story of the man getting back into shape needs no real further explanation if you have been there. But why the lady actually smiled at him requires just a moment of contemplation and revelation. You see the man went to the gym each day with a good friend who actually paid for his membership and encouraged him to exercise. When the man told his friend of the smile he had received the friend nodded and smiled in return and then laughed out loud. When the man asked his friend what was so darn funny the friend compassionately replied that the man was doing great but still presented no great body that a woman would smile over. When the man further questioned “well then what the heck?” The friend merely broadened his smile and told the man that that morning before the workout and during, the man was smiling. It was the first time the friend had actually seen a good healthy smile on the man for perhaps years.

Our man is so typical of all of us.

In this case the man suffered from depression. While it seems that his weight gain could have been caused by the depression and not the depression due to weight gain, certainly they exacerbated each other. Most assuredly nothing could be better for the man suffering so than good healthy exercise and weight loss. But what happened here is that the man became obsessed with his weight and therefor his appearance. At one point he must have reached the conclusion that if he looked better then things would be better. He apparently cared how the lady looked at him so it must have been important to him. If you like a flare for the dramatic just change our man into a young teenage girl and it amplifies the idea.

But long before he had lost enough weight and transformed himself into Adonis something happened. He viewed himself differently. And in such a new view he was happier and with the happier came a look of happy and a warm welcoming smile in return. Of course no one would consider telling the man to stop exercising and just concentrate on improving your view of yourself, but the thought does cross our minds.

One time my brother and I were watching the late John Balushi do some amazing dance moves in his character of a Blues Brother. The guy was clearly much to overweight to move so well like that. My very wise big brother sighed, raised his eyebrows and concluded that no one had bothered to tell Balushi that he was too fat. The point is fantastic and says much about our human ego.

You are loved.

Auntie's Chicken

I wonder if this pride filled chicken even knows that it is just a chicken. It sure acted like the boss of the farm.
I wonder if this pride filled chicken even knows that it is just a chicken. It sure acted like the boss of the farm. | Source

Who is the boss? You or your ego?

There was a kid that was youngest of a whole bunch of children. Growing up exceptions were made so that the youngest basically cheated his way into inclusion. It was just a given that he needed a helping hand to compete among the elder children. All well and good except that idea that he was not quite good enough to make it on a level playing field stuck with him. Even as an adult with an advanced degree and sound professional life he felt that he did not deserve his achievements. You guessed it, he engaged in self-destructive behavior that sabotaged his life and left him fulfilling his own feelings of worthlessness. Probably the outcome would have been different if he had been allowed to fail more and learned to accept himself for who he was.

So there you have it; the ego causing all kinds of despair. No wonder why it gets such negative press. But let us take a look at our smiling man. Somehow he changed. Instead of beating himself up and feeling depressed about his condition he took some steps. Of course with the help of his friend; we need our friends. In simply doing something positive he began to feel positive. It was not the results for the results were not yet obtained. And then in the feeling of positive he began to act and look positive. He fed his ego happy thoughts. He began to look at himself as something good again.

Our egos are fragile and malleable. They seem to bend with the wind. But one thing is certain and that is that we can shape our own egos. Conscious recognition of our egos and a modicum of effort can convert our egos into working tools for ourselves. And if we can so shape our egos for our own benefit yes indeed we can shape them also for the benefit of others.

I admit it, I would be proud if I made this art.

This tile work adorned a grave of a man who was a gardener.
This tile work adorned a grave of a man who was a gardener. | Source

How about you?

Do you have a healthy ego?

See results

Be proud that you are a child of God.

I just heard someone back there in the rear pews mutter that this is not a Sunday Sermon. That this is all about some psychobabble new age wingnut self-improvement stuff. Well to that I say; good you got the point to some degree.

At this time in the “sermon” I could stay on track with some suggestions like “positive affirmations”, “cognitive therapy” or a recommendation for some of the latest mood altering prescription drugs. But alas I am but a poor preacher man and this is a Sunday Sermon.

Now we deal with another one of those maligned words: Pride. Just get over that Sunday school notion that pride is bad. That has no basis in any theological construct. Pride is our friend and too much pride is our spiritual deadly enemy. Pride is exactly where our ego needs to be. We need to be proud of ourselves. So many will react in a knee jerk fashion that pride is a deadly sin. Really? Nope, vain glory and too much pride are deadly sins. Pride keeps us looking good. Show me a man with no pride in himself and I will show you a disheveled unkempt mess of a man. Show me a man with no pride and I will show you the addict groveling and debasing themselves for more of their drug. Show me a man with no pride and I will show you someone who does not like, much less love themselves. A healthy sense of pride is exactly the place the ego needs to find itself.

Now here is where the sermon part comes in. The healthiest pride that a person can find is in knowing that they are loved and cherished by God. You, yes you the one muttering in the back pew, you are loved by God. You are a child of the most high. You are fully loved just the way you are. Now tell me which of the most downtrodden among us can feel that they are not worthy when they focus on how much they are loved? I feel better just declaring this good news to you. It amps me up and feeds me with positive thoughts just thinking about how much I am loved.

You may wonder how I am so sure about all this love. Well it does not come from a scripture or holy teaching. It does not come from another sermon I heard or from some lightning strike revelation. It comes first from a belief that this whole beautiful abundant world had to be somehow created. That there is one who is the Father of this creation. And then it comes from being a father. I just reflect on how much I as a human being I love my children. And then I realize how much more our Father who art in heaven must love his children.

Can I get an Amen brothers and sisters?

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well Faith it is very good to wake up this morning and hear from you. You bring a warmth and friendliness with you that warms my heart. We sure are blessed to be loved. And thank you for being persistent in commenting, it means much to me.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Amen Dear Brother Eric!

      This is the third time I have attempted to comment here and my comment disappears before I can hit post ...so I am trying once again LOL

      What a genuine and true Sunday Sermon that I missed somehow, but I am so blessed to be here now. I am echoing what dear Frank stated above about your words being so genuine that makes the reading real and wonderful. I will have to remember this hub come Hubbie Award time, truly!

      Thank you for sharing the "good news" here of God's love for us just as we are. If only we could see ourselves as He sees us. Your true life examples here are spot on and drive your point home.

      I love that smile story and it makes me smile.

      Peace and blessings always ...keep these gems coming

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Hugs and much love

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Frank, it always means a lot to me to have you drop in and leave a note. I am standing a little taller now.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Your sermon speaks volumes as every page is turned slowly.. I respect your religious pause.. it helps make the reading genuine.. and I am I said indeed LOL :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is always a pleasure to hear from you Lawrence, thank you for coming by and leaving such an uplifting note.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      AMEN!!!

      Excellent hub. Loved it

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chitrangada Sharan, thank you for that nice comment. I just got back from hiking the Grand Canyon and was pleased to see your message.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful Sunday Sermon!

      You explained the term 'ego' beautifully. Ego is a natural human characteristics. What is important is to maintain a balance. Ego should not turn into pride and attitude.

      Thanks for sharing another positive message!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Here it is on another site:

      http://ropeandwire.com/node/77

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      No, they're not mine. Here's link to the contest winners. Scroll down to 2011 winners in stories:

      http://www.azauthors.com/contest_winners.html

      I think you have to buy the magazine to read it, but I'll try to repost the story here.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Boy Howdy! Will are these your photos? https://www.google.com/search?q=Oak+Creek+Canyon+b...

      Give me a link to your story

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You got it Ed. We love the Ravens and the Vortexes. They have had great wet weather so we will see all the critters -- human and otherwise all about.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Oak Creek Canyon was the setting and title of a story I wrote for the Arizona Centennial. It took fourth place!

      BTW, you'll go right by me on I-17!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Eric , when you go through Oak Creek Canyon , say hello to the resident ravens for me !

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana it is good of you to visit and leave a nice note. I am trying to look positive on the drought, less showers, a dirty car and no need to weed. I kind of like it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Will thank you, that is a very nice message. My elder son and I will be blazing through Phx Thursday to spend the night in Oak Creek on our way to hike the Grand Canyon this weekend. I will yell a howdy out the window.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Good Sermon with a positive message. You hit everything on the head.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I'm bookmarking this one, Eric. There are all sorts of messages and things to ponder here.

      Very, very good Hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Jackie, it is always good to have you come by and I appreciate it.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Some very interesting points Eric. A very enjoyable read as always!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nadine, what an uplifting comment. Hey I think I will pat myself on the back. I feel better already. Thank you -- now it is off to live life!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary I needed a little lift today and your comment just provided it. As children we are certainly capable of spreading that love to one another. Thanks.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      This was a truly fun read. My Ego said so! Listen, its our EGO, our Persona that got us where we are. Yes we are far more incredible from a spiritual viewpoint, but its the character we have chosen to experience human hood this time around that needs to be pampered and loved. Our souls are very courageous to have stepped into a human body, especially these times! Pat yourself on the shoulder. Great hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Eric you are always spot on and this is no exception. If you don't love yourself, no one else will!

      When God created man He was proud of what he did. We need to be proud too!

      Voted up, useful, and awesome.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Clive. Have a great week.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Amen

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey there Ed, in looking back at life, my ego sure has gotten a lot of laughs. I'm glad I was able to laugh along at it. Have a peaceful restful Sunday evening.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, I just cannot come up with a scenario where an over inflated or under inflated ego is a good thing. I must admit that I think mine is too much like a teeter totter much of the time. Thanks for coming by.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Martin I am glad it worked for you. We are blessed to have the presence of mind to keep on eye on such things. Thank you for dropping in and letting me know.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ms Dora, good to hear from you. Hope all is well on your island and with family. I am afraid that too often my air is hot. Balance is the key.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Hi Eric ,

      The worst thing about man is excess of ego and the most damaging is too little ! My Problem is unique , too little or too much at the wrong times ......LOL , great hub ! And Amen .

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      A good balance in our egos is always a good thing. Nice message you shared my friend. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi John, just a word on those failures of yours --- you certainly do not fail in your wonderful writing that brings so much joy and thoughtfulness to your readers. Thank you.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 2 years ago from San Francisco

      written for me.

      thank you

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      What a beautiful balance, Eric. Ego must be filled with the right kind of air, but must not be over-inflated. Good message!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Amen Eric. Great hub and message here. We certainly need to be able to shape our egos. In some circumstances mine is healthy in others it is lacking. I like to be the best I can at everything I try to it takes a hit if my attempts fail. I guess this shows that I have a lot of pride in what I do. I know I am proud of my children for a lot of their successes. Thank you for this lesson.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Harishprasad, I truly believe that we are capable of being wise, loving and gracious. I believe that by being such we become a beacon for others to follow. You always show me such things in your comments. You always add to understanding.

      You make me proud to know you. Thank you.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      You invoke wonderful awareness in us by your insightful thoughts. Only one who is intensely aware of ego and pride can utter such words as "feed the Ego ! " Eric, you have explained the real essence of ego and pride. A human is not a void, instead he /she is like a cup filled with nectar brimful. You indicate toward that aspect of our existence.

      I love your Sunday Sermon. You are a priest people will like to hear from any corner of the world. And yes, amen I say after having such a lovely dose of discourse. Thank you very much.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Serenity we truly are blessed to know that truth. Now if I can just remember to live by it. Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment and welcome to HP. I hope you find it as warm a community as I have.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      Thank you. The ego, like all else, is not evil in and of itself. The evil is in the excess.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool! Get one for me a savor it! We are sporting our huge Sunday breakfast feast and getting ready for a day hiking in a preserve and playing in the water. The best part of a good work week is a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You can get an Amen and you can get a Right On! Loved the message, buddy. I'm going to take my healthy ego and walk to the donut shop for a maple bar. :)