Making Stress Work For You

Dr. Lloyd J. Ogilvie, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (1972-1995) and Chaplain of the United States Senate, Washington D.C. (1995-2003) wrote a book with Ten Proven Principles for “Making Stress Work For You” in 1984. These principles are shown below. Occasionally I will provide a brief statement from the book and my experiences under each principal.

1. The Secret of Managing Stress
The first secret of stress management is to think about stress as a source of joy! James 1:2 “Consider it all joy… when you encounter various trials…” verses 3-8 provide more context. How is this possible? This is possible when we accept the love of God for us and believe that He sent His Son to die for our sin (A). Then His Holy Spirit enters our life (B) and when we are filled with His Spirit daily (C) we have the nine Fruit of the Spirit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (D).

God did not create people as robot’s, but first gives us the choice to accept or reject the love of Jesus and to those who accept Him He gives the choice of whether to control our own lives or surrender to His will daily. It is this daily surrender and the filling of the Spirit that allows a believer to consider “trials as a joy”

2. How to Be Good and Angry
3. The Stress of What We Do Not Express
4. Heart Your Tongue!
5. The Antidote for Combative Competition
6. The Truth about Burnout
7. Resigning from the Kingdom of Thingdom
8. Racehorses and Turtles
9. How to Really Relax
10. Don’t Take It Alone

Dr Ogilvie said “My only question was why I had waited so long to talk out my deep feelings with someone. I had fallen into the trap of thinking that after all the sermons l’d preached on confident faith and the books I’d written about victorious living, I had to exemplify strength and courage. But in so doing I’d closed myself off from one of the greatest sources of power: the healing power of fellowship, the remedial love and healing gifts entrusted to others.

One of Dr Oglivie’s small groups drafted a covenant of commitment to clarify its individual and united efforts to manage stress. They called it
“Ten Things I Will Do to Realize the Lord’s Healing of Stress.”
1. I recognize that stress is a major problem in my life.                                                                       2. I praise the Lord for the magnificent stress-coping mechanism He has given me.
3. I acknowledge the linkage between my thinking and attitudes and my body’s stress-producing systems.
4. I am thankful that my body can produce eustress (F) to assist me in meeting life’s demands, challenges and opportunities.
5. I seek to yield my thinking brain to the conditioning and control of the indwelling Christ and Holy Spirit.
6. I will set aside a time each day for Bible study, meditation, application to my life and prayer so that Christ can guide my thoughts and attitudes, decisions and actions, relationships and responsibilities.
7. I will quickly admit my inadequacy to manage stress and will talk to trusted confidants, fellow stress-strugglers, to release the build-up of stress and receive from them encouragement and prayer.
8. I will meet consistently with my small group and seek to be as honest as I can be about how stress is affecting my life and what my attitudes may be doing to cause it.
9. I will pray daily for other members of the group claiming Christ’s healing power for them.                                                                                                                                                                 10. I will be sensitive to the things I do and say that cause stress in the people of my life and will, whenever possible, work to bring changes in the institutions, organizations, and groups of which I am a part to diffuse the stress-inducing society in America today.” (G)

For several years I have been meeting in a 4 person Transformation Group that has been very helpful to me. For information go to my blog. (E) Henry Luke August 24, 2015

Chapter 1 A- John 3:16 and ; B- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; C- Ephesians 5:18b; D- Galatians 5:22-23a;

Chapter 10 E- 4 Person Transformation Groups F- eustress–stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the feeling of fulfillment. G- Adapted from Chapter 10 of “Making Stress Work For You”

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