Thoughts on Suicide

*** Note from Mark – knowing how much this has affected Sony, this is not an invitation to debate on this one, nor will derogatory comments be permitted. It is simply meant to be an encouragement to people to reach out if they are struggling with the thought of suicide. We are not all going to agree on every aspect of doctrine, but these words are helpful. ***

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Last week, I found out that an acquaintance committed suicide. This was not a close friend but it affected me as I’ve pondered why people take such extreme measures when, more often than not, the trials of life are only temporary afflictions.

This is only the second time I can remember someone I know dying by his own hand. In the other case, the motive seemed to be selfishness: getting back at someone else.

In many cases, the motive is extreme hopelessness, and this makes me sad. Where there is life, there is always hope. It is only after death that nothing can be changed. At that point, not only your past, but your present and future are determined forever.

I wonder, though, if sometimes people commit suicide due to guilt. Could people honestly have done something “so bad” that they don’t think even God would forgive them, so they take the “easy way out” instead of humbling themselves in repentance and trusting God’s saving grace?

This last thought concerns me even more than the others. There is no sin that God won’t forgive IF a person is willing to repent and turn from that sin. The problem is that many don’t want to do that and so they live with the guilt of the life they are living until tragedy claims that life.

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I understand discouragement, and I have been down to the point of wanting to die. But I remind myself that there is a reason that I am still alive, and it has nothing to do with me. The God who placed me on this earth still has a plan for my life and, until that plan is finished, I must be faithful. There is no “easy out” for a Christian. We are called to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

The thoughts going through my mind right now are many. First of all, my heart goes out to those who think the only way out of their problem is to end their life. But I also wonder how many people I know are struggling more deeply than I would ever imagine. We live in a world of “happy” faces, where people don’t want to be burdened with others. Therefore, there are a lot of lonely people in this world. As Christians, we should never be so busy or unconcerned that we don’t take time to listen to someone who is struggling. If someone is willing to open up and talk to you, it may be because they are hoping you will show them the Hope they need.

If you are one who is down and suicide has even crossed your mind, please find someone to talk to. I realize that you can’t trust just anybody but ask God to show you someone who would be willing to pray with you and check on you periodically to make sure you are okay. Although there will always be trials in this life, they truly are temporary, and God can give you the strength to walk through them if you allow Him to.

Don’t become another statistic. Be a victor! And help others to be victorious as well.

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What Is Shaping Your Worldview?

Last night, I was thinking about how easy it is to have one’s worldview shaped by society. As Christians, we may not go as far as some but we can still lose sight of right and wrong. The views we once held on abortion or adultery may become softened due to what we watch on TV, people we work with, etc. We may feel like we are living a Godly life because the life we live is better than our neighbor’s; however, we should only have one standard, and that is God’s Word.

Our society might be tolerant but God is not. He tells us very clearly how we are to live. First Corinthians 6:9-10, for example, gives a list of people who will not enter the Kingdom of God. We may not like this list but Paul was very clear in what he said.

I know that it is not always easy to live a Christian life. Temptation lurks on almost every television channel, every news stand, almost every corner (even at church sometimes) and, yet, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul tells us that, with every temptation, God will make a way to escape. You just have to want it.

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Instead of letting the world shape your thinking, begin to study God’s Word to determine what is really right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense to you or if you agree with it. This is the only standard acceptable for a child of God. If you are not walking according to its principles, you cannot be one of His children. It’s that simple. You cannot serve God and Satan.

I am currently going through a Bible study called The Walk of Repentance. I went through it years ago but it was time for a refresher course. I’m striving to get my thinking back in line with God’s Word. I truly want His Word hidden in my heart that I do not sin against Him. I want a heart that desires to follow Him, not get away with whatever pleasure I think I can get away with.

I would encourage you today to examine your heart. Are you still on fire for the Lord, wholeheartedly serving and obeying Him? Or have you become lukewarm in recent times, beginning to lose focus of truth vs. false, right vs. wrong? Is Jesus your Lord or just a sidebar to your life? Only you can answer these questions, and I pray you answer them honestly. If you have begun to allow society to shape your worldview, I hope you will turn today and begin again to follow the God who desires you to live a victorious life with Him.