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How Should Christians Respond to Suicide?

The topic of suicide is a touchy subject for many individuals due to the stigmatization surrounding it. I would like to first share my personal view that just because a person commits suicide doesn’t mean they are not a believer.

Those struggling with depression often turn to suicide when the days begin to turn too dark to walk through. Suicide is becoming increasingly common in the modern day within the secular community as well as in the Christian community.

With the increase in suicides, it is important that we, as Christians, know how to respond to suicide.

Understanding Suicide
Understanding suicide is crucial for Christians. I have personally known individuals who have tried to commit suicide as well as an individual who has died by suicide.

In addition to personally knowing Christians who have struggled with suicide, I have personally struggled with suicide in the past.

While I never acted on it, I have had many suicidal thoughts cross my mind over the years. The suicidal ideation I struggled with was mainly during my eating disorder and recovery.

I’m not going to say that I’m completely cured of all thoughts of suicide, but as I have sought out therapy and have found support in my sister, I have been able to speak back to the suicidal thoughts.

I have been seeing a therapist for about a year now, and something that she said completely changed the way I saw life. When I opened up to her about my suicidal ideation, she asked me, “Do you want to die, or do you just want the pain to end?”

This simple question from my therapist changed my entire life. It helped me realize that I didn’t want to die but that I just wanted the pain to end. Maybe if you are struggling with suicidal ideation, answering this question can help you too.

Oftentimes in the midst of our struggles with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or grief, we feel the only way out is through suicide. Friend, I’ve been there, and suicide is not the answer.

If you are struggling with suicide, know that there is a way out and that there is hope. You are loved, worthy, and valuable.

God loves you more than you can know. I know at times, in the deep dark recesses of depression, you may feel God has left you, but He hasn’t. Despite what our feelings tell us, we have to remember what God has told us in His Word.

He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). The Lord also promises to be with us through every hill and valley (Psalm 23). God sees you, and He knows your pain. Turn to Him, pour out your heart to Him, and give yourself time.

It is important that Christians know how to respond to suicide. Many Christians believe the misnomer that the unpardonable sin is suicide, yet this is wrong. The unpardonable sin cannot be done today as the unpardonable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit — not suicide.

The stigmatization surrounding suicide has caused many Christians to believe this false notion. It is important to understand that suicide is not done out of attention-seeking or selfishness. Those who attempt or commit suicide are normally depressed and are desperate for a way out.

It is vital for us, as Christians, to check in on our friends and genuinely care about them. If we have noticed one of our friends has been down or has made some remarks about hurting themselves or wanting everything to end, it is best to help them or reach out to someone who can help, such as a therapist or family member.

Suicide does not need to be a taboo subject within the Christian community. Instead, we need to have an open discussion surrounding suicide and educate others on the tell-tell signs someone is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Interceding at key times can help save a person’s life. Never underestimate the power you can have in making a difference. Take time to notice your friends and family members and make sure they are okay.

Simply a caring call or a visit can make a huge difference in someone’s day to know that they are cared about and loved.

Wanting Life to End
In the Bible, we are told that Elijah was extremely depressed to the point that he didn’t want to live, “While he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.

He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kings 19:4).

From this passage of the Old Testament, we can see how depressed Elijah was during this time period in his life. Often, we think of the individuals in the Bible as being the “spiritually elite,” yet we can all relate to the pain in Elijah’s words.

Even though Elijah wanted to die, God gave him strength, and he was able to carry on in his mission for the Lord.

Paul was another individual in the Bible who despised life itself as Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:8, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.”

Paul was one of the strongest men in the Bible when it came to faith in God, yet even he grew downtrodden with life itself. In your own struggles, know that you are not alone.

Many great individuals in the Bible struggled with depression and had desires for life to end. It is not uncommon for individuals to feel this way, but you don’t have to continue to feel this way.

Whether you are personally struggling with thoughts of suicide or you know someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide, there are many things you can do to help relieve these troubling thoughts.

Give all of your burdens, worries, and concerns over to God. He knows the pain you are feeling, but He does not want you to end your life. Your life is precious, and God has a unique purpose for your life that only you can fulfill.

I know it might not seem like it right now, but things will get better. I have been where you are — at the deepest pit, but you don’t have to stay there. God will meet you where you are, and He will take you up in His arms. God is not far off from you as He is your loving Father, who will never leave you.

Living in the Aftermath of Suicide
Living in the aftermath of suicide is difficult. After a loved one has died by suicide, we are left with a void in our hearts. We are left with a void because the person who died by suicide meant a great deal to us, and we loved them more than words can describe.

If you have known someone who died by suicide, don’t hold resentment toward them and don’t treat their memory as someone who “committed the worse sin.” In all honesty, there is not a varying degree of sin because all sin is equally evil in God’s eyes.

It is also not right to label suicide as a horrendous sin because we have to understand where that person was mentally before their suicide attempt. A person has to get to a really dark place before they will try suicide, and it often takes a great deal of time to lead them to that spot.

As a friend, a sibling, a mother, a father, a wife, or a husband, you need to check in on your loved ones and truly make sure they are okay. Often, we get caught up in the circus-like atmosphere of our daily lives that we forget to check on other people in our lives.

Taking the steps to help prevent a suicidal attempt is vital, and you should not simply shrug off someone when they are talking about suicide or dismiss their claim as someone who is just “seeking out attention.” When a loved one is talking about suicide, get them proper help immediately.

Suicide is a stressful topic within secular and Christian communities, but it is vital that we help those struggling with thoughts of suicide and point them back to the Lord.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, know someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide, or if you are living in the aftermath of suicide, call the suicide hotline 988 or check out this website.

Your life and the life of your loved one are valuable. Never forget how much the world needs you. God has a special purpose that only you can fulfill.

Courtesy; Vivian Bricker a contributing writer at www.christianity.com

Matthias David
Matthias David
Working in His vine, as He does even more at mine.
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