Spiritual Growth Through Failure With Chad Bird

Spiritual Growth Through Failure With Chad Bird

Embrace the spiritual moments of failure when you listen to author and speaker Chad Bird explain the 9 essential failures of a faithful life. Taken from his new book "Upside-Down Spirituality," hear how the Spirit uses failures to bring you into a willingness counteracting today's culture of success.

31 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Chad Bird

Embrace the spiritual moments of failure when you listen to author and speaker Chad Bird explain the 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life.

Taken from his new book Upside-Down Spirituality, hear how the Spirit uses failures to bring you into a willingness counteracting today's culture of success.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: Failure is a word that comes packed with cases full of emotion. So many people fear the possibility of failure long before a moment of testing. I might fail, so I better not even try. It may not come in such a recognizable package like that. But the anticipation of failure is a dangerous weapon in our walk with the Lord. It limits us. We just won't do as much as we could do if we will step out more often. Several years ago, I read john Maxwell's book called Failing Forward. I think it probably became a classic, certainly in the failing literature, but also I think in John Maxwell's top two or three; it's probably a personal opinion because the book really impacted me. As I began to understand spiritual truth about the facts of failure … and remember, I came at it as it from a business perspective. Being a business pastor, I thought quite a bit about what I was teaching students and how I began to talk with owners of businesses. This next quote is what really began to get to me. So, here's what he said. In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how are you going to deal with your problems. How are you going to deal with it? You will fail, what are you going to do next? If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? That's become an almost common chat now among leadership seminars, that what would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail and try to motivate me in some way to go forward? That didn’t move me all that much because I've heard it at so many points. But he asked an important question that informed me. It really helped guide my way forward. He asked, the last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed or did you fail because you stopped trying? That's not common language there. That's not the kind of thing you hear every day. Because we all stop at some point. Not all of us. But so many of us do. We stop at some point where it just seems like, why continue? Jesus taught his disciples about trials. One of the reasons that we're here talking as Christians today is because they didn't stop; they stop it to their death and then passed enough on to their disciples to make sure that the disciples were being made every day. Many of us have to think that way. any pastors stop because of whatever the reason. Many leaders stop leading in their organizations because of whatever the reason. But when it stops, it could be final for the organization or even for the church.

·         Acts 17:6: But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brothers to the city officials, crying out, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also’” (MEV).

I think today's show is going to help many of us understand the spiritual reality of failure. Listen to that language. My guest today is Chad Bird. We're going to discuss his book, Upside Down Spirituality. Isn't that intriguing? Upside Down Spirituality. Listen to the subhead, The Nine Essential Failures of a Faithful Life. So faithful people are going to fail. His book is based on Acts 17:6. I want to start a podcast by reading that great verse to you now. Here it is from the modern English version, which we use around here. “But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brothers to the city officials crying out. These men, who have turned the world upside down. have come here also. Tell me right off the bat about these men who turned the world upside down.

Chad Bird Books

·         Upside Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

·         Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul

·         Your God is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places

·         Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons

Chad Bird: That really was the verse that sparked this interest in the topic of failure for me and with the upside-down nature of the way God works. What they were doing is they were spreading the message of the Messiah about the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of all of God's promises. This ran contrary to everything that their opponents wanted to hear. So, the accusation was, of course, that they were they were upsetting everything, that they were turning the world upside down. Of all the accusations that could be leveled against Christians actually that what is a is a compliment because that is precisely what they were doing is They were from the perspective of the opponents turning the world upside down, but from God's perspective, they were actually turning things right side up and giving people an understanding of exactly what God desires for them, for the world and what he does for them in Christ.

Dr. Steve Greene: So why is it so difficult? You can we can talk about this forever. But the main issue that we're addressing is why is it so difficult to confront and even embrace failure?

Chad Bird: I think that one of the big reasons is simply our ego. We like to think of ourselves as successful; successful as the world defines that defines that particular word. Anytime we do fail at something, we feel it strikes at the core of our identity. Of course, our identity is one of those things that we really like to protect an all cost. That's part of the problem actually, that our identity is all wrapped up in what we are able to accomplish and if we are able to succeed, especially when success is considered success in the eyes of the world. We will react to any kind of failure if we see that striking at the core of who we understand ourselves to be. One of the main messages of the book is concerning identity. If we understand who we are, not a reference to ourselves, but who we are in Christ, then it's going to give us a very different perspective upon what it means to fail and what it means to succeed in the eyes of God.

Dr. Steve Greene: Our self-image includes an awful lot of how we feel about our past. When I tried something like this before, I didn't have a good experience with what I did, and we begin to carry that self-image in our baggage. Then it's up to God to change my self-image, right?

Chad Bird: Right. When, when our self-image is basically what we see in the mirror, when it's restricted to ourselves and we believe … we have only hurt ourselves because if we only understand ourselves in kind of an individualistic sort of way, and we do not understand ourselves in relationship to our Creator and to our Redeemer, then we are really not even understanding ourselves who we are as creatures because we're created as those who are in the image of God to reflect who He is. So, there is always a bigger version of ourselves out there. It's not just strictly what we see in the image that looks back in the mirror.

What They’re Saying About Upside Down Spirituality

·         “A soul-stirring guide to grace in everyday life, brimming with heart, insight, and poetry.” -- David Zahl, director of Mockingbird Ministries and author of Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion

·         “Chad Bird has not just set the value of success on its head but has restored to success its true meaning.”-- Paul F. M. Zahl, retired Episcopal minister and theologian

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The mirror has a great effect on our persona and how we respond to what the Lord wants us to do. It seems to me that none of us can really grow and tackle new mission fields and get uncomfortable if we have the self-image problem. Do you agree?

Chad Bird: Oh, yeah, I would definitely agree. If our understanding of who we are is based upon our self-image, then all we're going to have our is our own resources, and our resources are always going to be, to some extent, handicapped by our weaknesses, by our past years, by our regrets and by this baggage that we lug around. But if we understand ourselves as those who are part of the body of Christ, as those who are the masks that God Himself hides behind to do His work in the world, that really has a transformational way of reshaping how we understand who we are and what it means for us to interact in the world. Then we realize we're not alone anymore, that everything we do is done by those who have been co-crucified, co-buried and co-resurrected directly with Christ. So, we share His identity in all that we do.

Dr. Steve Greene: Would you share, and you list and you discuss in great depth and understanding nine essential factors … well the nine essential failures themselves, that you wrote about? Could you pick a few of them the most salient ones to get us started in helping people to understand how God expects this from us.

Chad Bird: One of the one of the first ones I talked about in this first section, which is mainly focused upon our individual lives with God … the second chapter is titled, What if I Just Want to be Average? The Failure to Make a Name for Ourselves. It's in the chapter that I talk quite a bit about what's become a virtue in our culture, but which historically I eventually understood to be a vice. What I'm talking about is ambition. Ambition has undergone a kind of a strange metamorphosis over the years. Until I'd say the last 50 years or so, ambition was always understood to be like a dirty word. If someone was described as ambitious, it was actually not intended as a compliment because ambition was all about putting yourself first, looking out for number one, striving not to do as much as you can for others but striving to make a name for yourself, to do as much as you could for yourself. The New Testament idea that Paul puts forward is to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, which is basically saying make it your ambition not to be ambitious instead to fade into the background and put others forward to, to put all of your work into helping others. As Jesus would say, to make yourself last so that the last will be first; to be the servant of all.

Dr. Steve Greene: Would Paul do a podcast with me? Sometimes, people do this to have people look at themselves. Paul would do it to preach. He would get his message out there and I would not get a word in edgewise. Go ahead with some more examples of non-essential failures.

Chad Bird: Another one in the second section is called My Altar has a Diesel Engine, the Failure to Search Out Our Calling. I have basically two full-time jobs or a full-time job and a part-time job. My full-time job Monday through Friday is I drive a truck. There's a long history behind that that I tell in my first book, Night Driving. But that is what I do during the day. But that's not my only vocation. I also write, I also teach, travel around speaking in churches. But even that is not the full extent of my vocation. Vocation means calling. When we understand calling holistically, we understand that every aspect of our lives involves a calling. So, I'm a husband, and a grandfather and have a father and a brother and a son and citizen. What I talk about in this particular chapter here is often we hear that you have to search out your calling. You have to find it. Actually, your calling finds you. The moment that we come into this world, we already have a calling. We are a son or a daughter from the moment of birth. And we have siblings, as a brother or sister, and we have a calling to serve our parents and those around us. As soon as we grow up. the callings multiply, but the idea is we don't have to search out our calling, our calling searches us out, they find us because what God has called us to do is to serve our neighbor. So, our calling is as plain as the face on our neighbor. That's who we're called to love and to serve. And we do so as those who are in the biblical language part of the holy priesthood, those that God has called to just serve as His priest in this world. I like to think of it as secret agents in the undercover Kingdom of God. That is to say God is using us in all of these small, often hidden sorts of ways to take His Word to people around us to pray for those around us, to work for those around us. Each of these are our calling. So, the failure there is a failure to search out or calling because actually our calling has already searched us out and found us.

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Chad Bird, please click here.

Connect with Chad Bird

·         On Facebook

·         On  Twitter

·         Chadbird.com

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Chad Bird

Embrace the spiritual moments of failure when you listen to author and speaker Chad Bird explain the 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life.

Taken from his new book Upside-Down Spirituality, hear how the Spirit uses failures to bring you into a willingness counteracting today's culture of success.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: Failure is a word that comes packed with cases full of emotion. So many people fear the possibility of failure long before a moment of testing. I might fail, so I better not even try. It may not come in such a recognizable package like that. But the anticipation of failure is a dangerous weapon in our walk with the Lord. It limits us. We just won't do as much as we could do if we will step out more often. Several years ago, I read john Maxwell's book called Failing Forward. I think it probably became a classic, certainly in the failing literature, but also I think in John Maxwell's top two or three; it's probably a personal opinion because the book really impacted me. As I began to understand spiritual truth about the facts of failure … and remember, I came at it as it from a business perspective. Being a business pastor, I thought quite a bit about what I was teaching students and how I began to talk with owners of businesses. This next quote is what really began to get to me. So, here's what he said. In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how are you going to deal with your problems. How are you going to deal with it? You will fail, what are you going to do next? If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? That's become an almost common chat now among leadership seminars, that what would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail and try to motivate me in some way to go forward? That didn’t move me all that much because I've heard it at so many points. But he asked an important question that informed me. It really helped guide my way forward. He asked, the last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed or did you fail because you stopped trying? That's not common language there. That's not the kind of thing you hear every day. Because we all stop at some point. Not all of us. But so many of us do. We stop at some point where it just seems like, why continue? Jesus taught his disciples about trials. One of the reasons that we're here talking as Christians today is because they didn't stop; they stop it to their death and then passed enough on to their disciples to make sure that the disciples were being made every day. Many of us have to think that way. any pastors stop because of whatever the reason. Many leaders stop leading in their organizations because of whatever the reason. But when it stops, it could be final for the organization or even for the church.

·         Acts 17:6: But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brothers to the city officials, crying out, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also’” (MEV).

I think today's show is going to help many of us understand the spiritual reality of failure. Listen to that language. My guest today is Chad Bird. We're going to discuss his book, Upside Down Spirituality. Isn't that intriguing? Upside Down Spirituality. Listen to the subhead, The Nine Essential Failures of a Faithful Life. So faithful people are going to fail. His book is based on Acts 17:6. I want to start a podcast by reading that great verse to you now. Here it is from the modern English version, which we use around here. “But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brothers to the city officials crying out. These men, who have turned the world upside down. have come here also. Tell me right off the bat about these men who turned the world upside down.

Chad Bird Books

·         Upside Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

·         Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul

·         Your God is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places

·         Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons

Chad Bird: That really was the verse that sparked this interest in the topic of failure for me and with the upside-down nature of the way God works. What they were doing is they were spreading the message of the Messiah about the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of all of God's promises. This ran contrary to everything that their opponents wanted to hear. So, the accusation was, of course, that they were they were upsetting everything, that they were turning the world upside down. Of all the accusations that could be leveled against Christians actually that what is a is a compliment because that is precisely what they were doing is They were from the perspective of the opponents turning the world upside down, but from God's perspective, they were actually turning things right side up and giving people an understanding of exactly what God desires for them, for the world and what he does for them in Christ.

Dr. Steve Greene: So why is it so difficult? You can we can talk about this forever. But the main issue that we're addressing is why is it so difficult to confront and even embrace failure?

Chad Bird: I think that one of the big reasons is simply our ego. We like to think of ourselves as successful; successful as the world defines that defines that particular word. Anytime we do fail at something, we feel it strikes at the core of our identity. Of course, our identity is one of those things that we really like to protect an all cost. That's part of the problem actually, that our identity is all wrapped up in what we are able to accomplish and if we are able to succeed, especially when success is considered success in the eyes of the world. We will react to any kind of failure if we see that striking at the core of who we understand ourselves to be. One of the main messages of the book is concerning identity. If we understand who we are, not a reference to ourselves, but who we are in Christ, then it's going to give us a very different perspective upon what it means to fail and what it means to succeed in the eyes of God.

Dr. Steve Greene: Our self-image includes an awful lot of how we feel about our past. When I tried something like this before, I didn't have a good experience with what I did, and we begin to carry that self-image in our baggage. Then it's up to God to change my self-image, right?

Chad Bird: Right. When, when our self-image is basically what we see in the mirror, when it's restricted to ourselves and we believe … we have only hurt ourselves because if we only understand ourselves in kind of an individualistic sort of way, and we do not understand ourselves in relationship to our Creator and to our Redeemer, then we are really not even understanding ourselves who we are as creatures because we're created as those who are in the image of God to reflect who He is. So, there is always a bigger version of ourselves out there. It's not just strictly what we see in the image that looks back in the mirror.

What They’re Saying About Upside Down Spirituality

·         “A soul-stirring guide to grace in everyday life, brimming with heart, insight, and poetry.” -- David Zahl, director of Mockingbird Ministries and author of Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion

·         “Chad Bird has not just set the value of success on its head but has restored to success its true meaning.”-- Paul F. M. Zahl, retired Episcopal minister and theologian

 

Dr. Steve Greene: The mirror has a great effect on our persona and how we respond to what the Lord wants us to do. It seems to me that none of us can really grow and tackle new mission fields and get uncomfortable if we have the self-image problem. Do you agree?

Chad Bird: Oh, yeah, I would definitely agree. If our understanding of who we are is based upon our self-image, then all we're going to have our is our own resources, and our resources are always going to be, to some extent, handicapped by our weaknesses, by our past years, by our regrets and by this baggage that we lug around. But if we understand ourselves as those who are part of the body of Christ, as those who are the masks that God Himself hides behind to do His work in the world, that really has a transformational way of reshaping how we understand who we are and what it means for us to interact in the world. Then we realize we're not alone anymore, that everything we do is done by those who have been co-crucified, co-buried and co-resurrected directly with Christ. So, we share His identity in all that we do.

Dr. Steve Greene: Would you share, and you list and you discuss in great depth and understanding nine essential factors … well the nine essential failures themselves, that you wrote about? Could you pick a few of them the most salient ones to get us started in helping people to understand how God expects this from us.

Chad Bird: One of the one of the first ones I talked about in this first section, which is mainly focused upon our individual lives with God … the second chapter is titled, What if I Just Want to be Average? The Failure to Make a Name for Ourselves. It's in the chapter that I talk quite a bit about what's become a virtue in our culture, but which historically I eventually understood to be a vice. What I'm talking about is ambition. Ambition has undergone a kind of a strange metamorphosis over the years. Until I'd say the last 50 years or so, ambition was always understood to be like a dirty word. If someone was described as ambitious, it was actually not intended as a compliment because ambition was all about putting yourself first, looking out for number one, striving not to do as much as you can for others but striving to make a name for yourself, to do as much as you could for yourself. The New Testament idea that Paul puts forward is to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, which is basically saying make it your ambition not to be ambitious instead to fade into the background and put others forward to, to put all of your work into helping others. As Jesus would say, to make yourself last so that the last will be first; to be the servant of all.

Dr. Steve Greene: Would Paul do a podcast with me? Sometimes, people do this to have people look at themselves. Paul would do it to preach. He would get his message out there and I would not get a word in edgewise. Go ahead with some more examples of non-essential failures.

Chad Bird: Another one in the second section is called My Altar has a Diesel Engine, the Failure to Search Out Our Calling. I have basically two full-time jobs or a full-time job and a part-time job. My full-time job Monday through Friday is I drive a truck. There's a long history behind that that I tell in my first book, Night Driving. But that is what I do during the day. But that's not my only vocation. I also write, I also teach, travel around speaking in churches. But even that is not the full extent of my vocation. Vocation means calling. When we understand calling holistically, we understand that every aspect of our lives involves a calling. So, I'm a husband, and a grandfather and have a father and a brother and a son and citizen. What I talk about in this particular chapter here is often we hear that you have to search out your calling. You have to find it. Actually, your calling finds you. The moment that we come into this world, we already have a calling. We are a son or a daughter from the moment of birth. And we have siblings, as a brother or sister, and we have a calling to serve our parents and those around us. As soon as we grow up. the callings multiply, but the idea is we don't have to search out our calling, our calling searches us out, they find us because what God has called us to do is to serve our neighbor. So, our calling is as plain as the face on our neighbor. That's who we're called to love and to serve. And we do so as those who are in the biblical language part of the holy priesthood, those that God has called to just serve as His priest in this world. I like to think of it as secret agents in the undercover Kingdom of God. That is to say God is using us in all of these small, often hidden sorts of ways to take His Word to people around us to pray for those around us, to work for those around us. Each of these are our calling. So, the failure there is a failure to search out or calling because actually our calling has already searched us out and found us.

For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Chad Bird, please click here.

Connect with Chad Bird

·         On Facebook

·         On  Twitter

·         Chadbird.com

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

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Spiritual Growth Through Failure With Chad Bird