A Lesson Learned From Myself–by Dr. Jerry Rusher

Help others…help yourself: niece Tami gets little brother
Eric ready for church.

Our friend Dr. Jerry Rusher shared this cure for self-centeredness recently. Perhaps you or someone you know will find it a life-saver as he did.

Did you ever find something you’d written and then forgotten: something written when God had revealed truth to you but because you didn’t apply it then, you forgot it? Well, this happened to me, just when I needed to apply the lesson.

I’d made it through the first year following the death of my beloved wife Wanda with normal grieving. I thought everything was going to be fine when depression settled on me with a vengeance. I’d been busy much of the year doing mission trips to help people less fortunate than myself. After returning home, I had a lot of time to do whatever I wanted. So I played golf, watched sports on TV, and did whatever suited my fancy. I could eat whatever I wanted, so I began to gain weight. You’d think I ought to be quite happy, but instead, the opposite happened. I became increasingly depressed. I cried at any little reminder of Wanda. I had no joy at all.

Then one day at church friends gathered around. As I shared my need, they prayed. It was amazing how the dark cloud lifted. I felt like living again. I began preparing for another mission trip, excited about the opportunity to serve.

Then I came across what I had written long ago. “Why has depression become so common? It has become like an epidemic. Everyone it seems is on Prozac, even children. Teenagers are committing suicide right and left. What is going on?…as I pondered possible causes, it dawned on me that self-centeredness just might be the main cause in this upswing in depression. There seems to be an obvious increase in people doing their own thing and seeking after what will make them happy. …it seems as one chases after the proverbial rainbow the farther away it gets. …Jesus said in Matt. 10:39, ‘He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.’”

As I thought about what I had written, it made sense. It explained to me why the depression had come on me while I was pleasing myself and not while I was helping other people. I had unwittingly conducted an experiment that verified personally the thesis I had posed in the past. It pointed out clearly what to do if I wanted to avoid getting depressed. I needed to focus on reaching out to other people and not be focused on myself. I became quite clear to me that Jesus knew what makes us tick.

I also found that it may be easy to gloss over advice given by someone else, but when you receive advice from yourself it’s harder to ignore.

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