Brighton Church of Christ
Is Suicide The Answer?
Suicide is not an answer to life’s trials and troubles. It only compounds our problems and heartaches, and creates new sorrows.
Every case of suicide recorded in Scripture involves people who were guilty of sin and not willing to face the consequences of their evil conduct (1 Sam. 31; 1 Chron. 10; Matt. 27:1-10). Both the Old and New Testaments teach that we are made in God's image and created for His service (Gen. 1:27; Eccl. 12:13; Matt. 22:37-40). God has always forbidden murder, which is the unauthorized taking of human life (Ex. 20:13; Gal. 5:19-21). God does not authorize us to take our own lives. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:21).
Many of God's faithful children have died as a result of serving Him, but they died in God's service rather than in disappointment and depression caused by sin. They died under this promise: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). Their will was not focused on death but on serving and glorifying God.
Causes of Suicide
The temptation to suicide or having someone to kill us is driven by (1) depression over our own sins, or (2) depression over sins committed against us by others, leaving deep emotional scars. (3) Depression leading to suicidal thoughts can also be caused by physical and chemical problems in the body which adversely affect the mind.
Regarding depression over our own sins, we can resolve the problem by seeking God's forgiveness of those sins. Those who have never obeyed the gospel of Christ can find forgiveness through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ when they believe in him, repent of sin, confess his name, and submit to water baptism (Rom. 10:17; 10:9-10; Acts 2:38). Erring Christians can seek and find forgiveness by taking our sins to God by humble confession of our wrongs, by repentance, and by prayer (Acts 8:21-24; Ja. 5:16, 19-20). Knowing that God forgives us, we then can take responsibility for any damage our sins have caused to others and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance (Matt. 3:8; Acts 26:20).
Regarding depression over sins committed against us by others, we can seek the help of faithful Christians. Often, they have suffered similar trials and their spiritual maturity can be a great help to us. They might be able to recommend some professional counselor who deals with such issues without trying to destroy people's faith in God. One of the many blessings of being a Christian is knowing people who love us and want to help us. "The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life....In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found...The lips of the righteous feed many....Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad....A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity....There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Prov. 10:11, 14, 2; 12:25; 17:18; 24). The love and encouragement of good people can lift our hearts above the temptation to self-destruction.
Regarding physical and chemical problems, counselors and medical doctors can recommend remedies.
Refocusing Our Lives
Paul desired to leave this world of sin and sorrow so that he could be with God, not so that he could run from his problems in life. But, he recognized God had work for him to do in living a Christian life and helping others go to heaven. Therefore, he was content to stay in this world and serve the Lord and his fellowman. Rather than seeing his trials as fruitless and depressing, he saw them as bearing fruit for Christ (Phil. 1:19-26).
At the root of all sin is selfishness and a failure to exercise faith in God. Suicide is the result of exaggerated concentration on oneself, thus excluding faith in the love and care of God. This exaggerated focus on self blinds a person not only to his proper relationship to God but also to his proper relationship to family and friends. Suicide is a terrible act of cruelty against family and friends who will be crushed, bruised, and scarred by all sorts of unanswered questions as a result of this selfish act.
Suicide does not open the way to relief of pain and suffering, but only leaves a trail of unutterable and eternal pain and suffering. Suicide is the soul’s embrace of Satan, not of God. It is a ticket to hell, not an abundant entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11).
Those who contemplate suicide need to repent of this exaggerated concentration on self and to refocus their lives on God. His love for each of us is beyond compare. Through the provisions of the gospel of Christ, we can sing with Paul, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). We can know the joy of fellowship with God as we feed our soul on His Word and draw near to the heart of God in prayer. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).