What The Church Should Know About Suicide
I still remember it like it was yesterday. Freshman year. Spring semester. Ordinary day. Until her body was discovered. A freshman student had jumped off of a building. She had no friends or roommates and she kept to herself. To this day, we don’t know what caused her to jump. Her body was discovered between our dorm and the youth church on campus. Seems like she was crying for help, that neither the church nor school could have provided.
It seems that across college campuses, many students are dealing with the burdens and weight of life. Gasping for air, they begin to believe that their only escape from it all is to end it all.
It's happening in alarming numbers, catching the attention of many, including those who work with young adults and on college campuses. Even catching the attention of Believers. The untimely deaths are impacting the lives of many and the pain is being felt all over. Many are pondering “What happened?” and “What could have been done?” The church needs to be active and learn how to help those who are dealing with suicide find freedom.
No one wants to die.
Oxymoron indeed. Yes, suicide is the act of taking one's own life, but those who have dealt with depression and/or suicidal thoughts didn’t want to die. They wanted to live. They didn’t know that the life that they desired and ached for was found in Christ. The pain they experienced was demanding to be felt. Screaming to be released. The world presents death, but the word presents life.
They wanted to be appreciated, loved and noticed, but they often felt discouraged, empty and abandoned. Their souls couldn’t find it wherever they turned and tried to find it. Many times, they turn to sin to help find what can only be found in Christ—peace and rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest..."
“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
It stems from somewhere.
Whenever someone commits suicide, we hear loved ones utter, “I don’t know why?” or “I wonder what went wrong?” It hurts to lose a loved one, especially when the cause is a mystery. Understand, that no one wakes with the sudden urge to end their life. It all stems from somewhere. Whether it is rejection from friends, failing the semester, inability to get a job, lack of appreciation and affirmation, or family issues, there is a trigger moment that pushes one to do the act. Something that really backs them up into a corner and makes them look for an escape from their situations.
Believers can have suicidal thoughts and can battle depression
Many times, we look at salvation as a one stop fix it shop, but that's the problem—it's not. We tend to forget that the soul can be attacked by the enemy as well.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.“
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
Like Prophet Elijah, many Christians, mature and new, can be depressed and have the urge to no longer continue life. Believers are not immune from being attacked by the enemy. Wasn’t it the same satan, who told Jesus to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2nd Corinthians 10:5
Committing suicide doesn't mean you are going to hell
We can’t assume the fate of others. That role belongs solely to God
“Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.”
Suicide is in fact murder, but just because that was their last act on earth, does not disqualify the life they lived prior. There isn’t scriptural evidence on it for us to have a final verdict on the matter. God is the one with the final say. We, as the body, shouldn’t try to determine the destination of the passed one.
The church should be awake during these times. Many souls are aching for the void in their hearts to be filled with the love of Christ. He died for them so that they can experience the life He should have lived and that life more abundantly.