Suicide is a tragedy that takes place far too often. Don’t let it happen to you or your loved ones.
Every human is created with a desire to live. Self-preservation is the first instinct of mankind. Even satan knows that most people will do anything to save their own skin.
“And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.”
Why then do some people choose to take their own lives?
Years ago we had a young man start coming to church sporadically. He was in and out of jail and had a daughter that would ride our bus occasionally or come with a family member. He stopped interacting with us, and I lost track of him until the day my phone rang with the news that he hung himself in his parent’s garage. The family was devastated. Everyone that knew him was hurting deeply. It was a difficult funeral.
Most people give the quick answers of depression, anxiety, and mental illness. Is it really that simple?
Suicide is too complicated to cover thoroughly in one article. Today, let’s look at a few reasons people take their own lives and learn how to help them before it’s too late.
Hope is the expectation of good. Someone once said, “You never know how important hope is until you’ve lost it.” How true!
It is possible to get to the place where all you see is bad. Why would someone want to live in a terrible situation that they believe will only get worse?
We begin to lose hope when we believe the devil’s lies such as:
- No one cares about me.
- My life isn’t important.
- No one will miss me.
- I don’t want to live like this anymore.
- I’m worthless.
- No one loves me.
- The world would be better off without me.
- Things will never get better.
- Life isn’t worth living.
As long as you are breathing, God is not done with you. Turn to Him in faith, and you will experience joy, fulfillment, and hope!
Hope reminds us that things can get better. It gives us a reason to press on in difficult times.
Hope is not a by-product of positive thinking and effective coping mechanisms. How do we get hope?
Hope comes from God!
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Hope comes from the Scriptures.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Hope comes from the Gospel
“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”
When you believe in God, hope is sure to follow. Faith and hope go together.
1 Peter 1:21
“Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”
When you start to lose hope, run to God, His Word, and joyful Christians to restore it. Believe the Gospel. Keep your eyes on God. Study the Scriptures. Hope will be your constant companion.
God made us creatures of accomplishment. Everyone wants their life to matter.
Many people mistake activity for accomplishment. Busyness doesn’t equal significance any more than money equals happiness.
Think of all the rich and famous people that have committed suicide. The list is extensive! It includes people from various cultures, backgrounds, and industries. However, they all have one thing in common. Their wealth and fame weren’t a strong enough reason to keep living.
Kate Spade was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. The website KateSpade.com explains “kate spade new york has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the united states, and more than 175 shops internationally. our colorful products are sold in more than 450 doors worldwide, in every time zone and on every continent. whether in san francisco or shanghai, our shops are always warm and inviting.”
Kate Spade had reached the pinnacle of the design world only to be plagued by depression and anxiety. Sadly, she hung herself in her beautiful Manhattan apartment.
Consider the recent suicide of World-renowned chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. Many people would consider his life a dream. In addition to his wealth and fame, he traveled the world seeing breathtaking sites, eating amazing food, and drinking the world’s best wines. Sadly, he committed suicide in France while working on an episode of his famous TV show.
Again, we ask the question “Why??”
These stories sadden my heart. I pray for their families.
If we pay attention to their lives, rich and famous people teach us by example that wealth and possessions do not create happiness and fulfillment. Making money plus building a brand is not reason enough to live!
Everyone needs a reason bigger than themselves to continue the struggle of life.
In God, we find a purpose that gives meaning to life. In God, we find a suitable answer to the questions of life. “Why am I here?” “What is life all about?” “Why should I keep going?”
The Bible gives us many truths that bring purpose to our lives. Here are a few:
To Bring Glory to God
1 Corinthians 10:31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
To Spread the Gospel
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
To Do Good Works Like Jesus
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness. It may sound harsh, but it is true. People who commit suicide get so focused on their own pain that they can’t see the irreparable harm they will cause to others by the method of their death.
I have met many people whose lives have been affected by suicide.
We had a lady begin coming to our church years ago. She was a fragile lady in her fifties and lived alone. I soon learned that her mom had committed suicide when she was eight years old. It affected her every day since.
Suicide hurts people. It dramatically changes the lives of those who are touched by it.
Don’t ever get so focused on your own pain that you choose to take the easy way out. Don’t believe the devil’s lie that no-one cares or that they would be better off without you. Take a survey of your life and realize all of the people who love you. Choose to live for them. Choose to Live for God.
One of the most powerful ways to defeat depression is to pour your life into others taking the focus off of yourself.
I believe suicide will continue to rise as secularism grows. People need the Lord. God gives meaning to life and joy to the believer. A dynamic relationship with God is the solution to suicide.
A disheveled man visited our church one Sunday night. He trusted Christ in my office after the service. He was a troubled man who was plagued with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. He spoke of suicide often and all the ways he wanted to do it. He attempted suicide a few times before we met. He was currently trying to drink himself to death. He would go on week-long benders, sometimes living in the woods, trying to die of alcohol poisoning.
When he focused on God and the Bible, he stopped trying to take his own life. He had hope. He had a new purpose. He was investing in others. He is with the Lord today, but I have a beautiful wall of bookshelves in my office that he made for me. I think of him often.
Christ is the answer!
A final word of warning.
Christians are not immune to the temptation of suicide.
Even some who profess Christ can begin to see suicide as an acceptable alternative. This ought not to be! Their reasoning is “Why should I stay here on this world of pain when I could go to Heaven and be in a perfect place with God?”
If you live long enough on this earth, you will probably face a situation that will make death look like a viable option. There might be days when you agree with Job that it had been better if you had never been born. Some days you may even want to stop living.
Let God be God. He gives life, and He decides when it ends. Have faith and don’t play god yourself. Trust God on the darkest days of your life. He is big enough to get you through this life victoriously.
Suicidal thoughts are a red flag that you have taken your eyes off of God. Defeat the temptation of suicide by drawing close to God and receiving hope, accepting purpose, and living for others.
If you are feeling suicidal and can’t get the victory, reach out for help today.