Alfred Adler is known as one of the “founding fathers” of modern psychology. He is remembered mostly for his analysis of the impact of “birth order” – the “position” or “place” we have with our siblings, and how that influences our personality. He also developed what he called his “Fourteen-Day Cure Plan.”
He claimed that this plan could cure anyone of mental illness in just fourteen days if they would just do exactly as he told them to do. For example - one day, a woman who was extremely depressed came to see him. He told her, “I can cure you of your depression in just fourteen days if you follow my advice.”
“What do you want me to do?” she asked.
“If you do one thing for someone else every day for fourteen days, at the end of that time, your depression will be cured,” he told her.
She objected, “Why should I do something for someone else when no one ever does anything for me?”
Jokingly he responded, “Well, I guess because you are different, it will take you twenty-eight days. Adler realized that because she was so self-centered, there was little hope for her to change her behavior, and think of others rather than herself, and find relief.
Paul said that we are to “share each other's problems and troubles.” Christians must never develop an attitude that entertains the idea that we are not responsible for helping others in their times of need. It is sometimes difficult to think of “service before self.” But that is the way Jesus lived and died. As His disciples, can we do less?
Prayer: Lord, may we move from an attitude of self-centeredness to one of other-centeredness and see, hear, feel, and meet the needs of others as Your Son did. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
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