I have been thinking about suicide for a little while now. It is clear that some people are so shaken and view life, their life, as pointless that they are willing to end it.
This is not a topic to take lightly or to treat in jest with flippant remarks.
I have heard too many people say that if a person wants to commit suicide let them do it. People don’t just decide to commit suicide. Unless there is some mental problem where persons just harm themselves, suicide is the result of issue after issue, problem after problem being stacked in such a way as to break the will of an individual to go on.
Many have injected the Bible into the issue and this is usually done with a direct correlation to the commandment Thou shall not kill.
I do not believe it is enough to just say that it is sinful to kill youself, or that it is an abomination to God or disrespectful to God.
There are lots of things that are sinful and abominable in the sight of God, we lie, we steal, we cheat, and if there is not big sin and little sin we are right back at square one when it comes to suicide.
Suicide is not a new idea. The Bible records seven suicides.
*Abimelech, lacking personal identity Judges 9:52-54;
*Samson, who killed himself for a cause he believed in and as a means of revenge.Judges 16:25-30;
*Saul was stressed out, unable to meet certain expectations, and felt like a reject and a failure. 1 Samuel 31:4;
*Saul’s armor-bearer, wanting to die with his leader acted on impulse, 1 Samuel 31:5
*Ahithophel was bitter after his advice was rejected. 2 Samuel 17:23
*Zimri just had a problem with authority. 1 Kings 16:15-
*Judas was full of guilt. Matthew 27:3-5
But when a person is at the point where they see life as useless, the church needs to say more than it is sinful. After a person snuffs out his/her life we need to say more than it was an act of cowardice and disrespect. Especially since it is not popular for persons to advertise their plans to end their life.
Let me say though that I don’t see it as an act of cowardice, and if not one of desperation then one of bravery. A coward is more concerned with the preservation of life. I don’t believe a coward can kill himself or herself.
If we look at Judas; full of guilt because of his betrayal of Jesus. His initial action and those of Peter are very much the same – they both betrayed Jesus.
However, Peter the coward was hiding for fear that he too would be crucified. But Judas went out and ended his life.
The difference is that Judas made his exit while Peter got to experience the risen Lord.
You see God has a plan for our lives and it does not matter how futile or pointless life appears to be, God has a plan and sometimes we just need to wait. It is when we are at our lowest that everything other than the will of God seem to be solutions. But God has a purpose and a plan for our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
There are some shouting sinner and preaching fire and damnation, but they seem to forget we can not work our way into Heaven. The story of the landowner who brought in different people at different times in the day to work and at the end of the day paid them the same wage, sums it up with some words we often forget – ‘are you going to tell me what to do with what is mine?”
The person that commits suicide is not any different to the person going to church Sunday after Sunday – a sinner, wait at the mercy of God for His grace.
We need not despair, because we might think we are in a bad place but that place is exactly where God wants us to be because He has a plan.
The story is told of a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Saviour appeared to him.
The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!'” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.
“Lord” he said, “I have laboured hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.” [email protected]