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Battling the Blues – Cure Cultivation

Spiritual EncouragementKey Bible Verse: You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11

Bonus Reading: Psalm 112:1-10

Psychiatrist Milton Erickson was a guest in the Milwaukee home of a man concerned about his very old, wealthy, and depressed aunt. At this friend’s request, the doctor visited her.

The blinds were closed throughout her Victorian mansion—except for one room full of gorgeous African violets. On entering, it Dr. Erickson abruptly exclaimed, “I see what your problem is.”

“Oh?” she warily replied.

“You’re not really a very good Christian.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have this great gift for growing African violets,” the doctor explained, “yet you keep it all to yourself. If I were you, I’d get your church bulletin, and whenever someone had a birthday, death, wedding, anniversary, or whatever, I’d take them one of your plants as a gift.” He soon left and never encountered the depressed woman again.

As he told this story to a group of students, Dr. Erickson pulled out an old newspaper clipping: “African Violet Queen of Milwaukee Dies, Mourned by Thousands.” A student raised his hand. “Why did you have her give out plants instead of treating her depression?” he asked.

“It would be easier, I decided, to grow the African violet part of her life than to weed out the depression.”

—Greg Smalley in HonorBound magazine

My Response: What gift have I kept to myself that I should share with others?

Thought to Apply: I’ve learned that the best way to lift one’s self up is to help someone. —Booker T. Washington

Adapted from HonorBound magazine (4-5/02)

Prayer for the Week: When I feel discouraged, Lord, help me make positive adjustments and pour myself into others.



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