“‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ The older brother became angry and refused to go in.”

Luke 15:27-28

While it would be a stretch to say that the elder brother in the Prodigal Son parable was depressed, his response to his brother’s rescue does tell us something about how depressed people interpret their circumstances. The elder brother heard good news yet responded negatively. 

When you struggle with depression, you typically paint the world around you in dark colors. Beauty is diminished; brokenness is accentuated. Good food loses its taste, and lovely smells seem noxious. I call this the “anti-Midas touch.” Whatever King Midas touched turned to gold, but whatever the depressed person touches turns to trash. Even good news is suddenly bad. 

It’s important to understand that cynicism is not realism. It sees the brokenness of this world without the beauty. Such cynicism is not effectively undone by reason. That takes love. With Christ, we always have reason to celebrate, even if it is grieving with hope. If you are infected with cynicism, find fellow believers who will hear your pain and show you the beauty of Christ’s love. 

Scripture Focus

Luke 15:25-32


You may paint a dark world in your mind, but Christ has painted your broken heart with His blood.

Bible In A Year

  • Nehemiah 10-11
  • Psalm 36
  • Mark 15