Tuesday, June 19, 2007
HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS
STRESS & BURNOUT
Here are the powerpoint notes for a seminar I've just prepared for Urban Neighbours of Hope (a missional group our daughter Lindy ministers with). They're in note-form, but you'll get the message):
1. WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is pressure. We all experience pressure. It's how you manage pressure that's the key
Stress is hurry-sickness / Needing more than God
Why do we need more than God? Because parents / teachers / significant others told us we were not OK unless we achieved this or that
WHAT IS BURNOUT?
Why do so many feel they’re ‘running on empty?’ Because they don't have a match-up between emotional input and emotional output
FAMILY-OF-ORIGIN EXPERIENCES ARE THE KEY TO LOVE, FAITH, HOPE: YOU CANNOT LIVE YOUR LIFE AS IF YOUR CHILDHOOD/ ADOLESCENT EXPERIENCES DID NOT HAPPEN
HOWEVER… CAN GOD SAVE/HEAL US FROM CHILDHOOD DEPRIVATION/ TRAUMA? YES… ‘IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A HAPPY CHILDHOOD’… BUT AGAIN… ‘AS THE TWIG IS BENT…’
2. THE MAIN KEY: LOVE – FOR GOD, OTHERS
LOVING GOD (= WORSHIP): THE 9 TESTS
* We love God by loving other people (and you love God just as much as you love the person you love least!)
* Jesus said if we love him we will obey him
* If you love someone you'll want to linger in their company
* Our speech is an index of our loves
* If you love someone you'll love what they have created (yourself, this beautiful earth etc)
* If you love someone who is absent you'll long for their return
* The 'idolatry test' asks 'what other, competing, loves turn me on?'
* Loving another means you'll forgive them when they do something you don't understand
* The ultimate test is martyrdom: who or what am I prepared to die for?
0 God, I love thee, I love thee
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Not fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me.
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesus, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven's sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst love me
I, I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
LOVE FOR OTHERS: If you were in a court of law charged with being a Christian, and one of the tests was 'love for others' what evidence would be used to convict you?
3. LOVE OF SELF
Love of Self for Self’s Sake
Love of God for Self’s Sake
Love of God for God's Sake
Love of Self for God's Sake
(The twelfth-century monk Bernard of Clairvaux)
VALUE? GIFTS? LIMITS?
* PEOPLE OF THE LIE
* MONEY / SEX / POWER
* EXTERNALIZING FEAR, GUILT, ANGER, GRIEF
THEOLOGY - spiritually healthy thinking about God
COGNITIVE RESTRUCTURING – changing your thinking (paradigm shifts)
6. PERSONAL GROWTH AND RISK-TAKING
20 ASPECTS OF MENTORING:
God helps us through others:
1. Father, especially in the area of self-esteem
2. Mother, nurturing
3. Spiritual Director, 'discernment of spirits'
4. Prayer Partner, prayerful support
5. Mate/spouse/siblings, intimacy, 'sharing'
6. Friend, support in life's trials and recreation
7. Mentor, skill-development
8. Supervisor, accountability
9. Counsellor, behaviour
10. Encourager, emotional strength for the journey
11. Role-model, life-skills
12. Small Group, mutual prayer, brain-storming, reality-checking
13. Ministry Team, vocational support
14. Coach, specific skill-development
15. Sponsor, opening opportunities for ministry
16. Teacher/Master, development of understandings
17. Consultant, advice from someone with a wider perspective
18. Bishop/Board, authority
19. Pastor, soul-nourishment
20. Faith Community, a sense of belonging
The Picture and the Frame (In Western cultures we often think of time as the 'frame' within which we achieve things)
The message of the Bible: there are four dimensions to time -
Chronos - measurable time
Kairos - the appropriate time
Aion - God's time in our time
Telos - the 'omega point', end-time
One life: what do you want to see happen? If you aim nowhere, you're bound to hit the mark.
(But if you set specific goals and don’t reach them… what then?)
See Luke 5:15-16: Jesus had something more important to do that heal or teach!
Sabbath-keeping: who do we think we are that we have to work harder than God?
Meditation/Contemplation: the practice of stillness
Sleep: you should, in an ideal world, get enough sleep not to need an alarm to wake
Diet/Exercise: the fuel you put into your body is an index of the worth of the gift of your God-given physical being. And exercise-to-perspire three times a week!
Hobbies: it's a good idea to have a pleasurable distraction from work (what's yours?)
Remember: ‘A great evil in the world is people taking themselves too seriously’
Visit the humor section of the JMM website – 4,000 funny jokes/stories
ENJOY YOUR LIFE!
(YOU’LL NEVER GET OUT OF IT ALIVE!)