10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Commit Suicide

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A friend that I grew up with, took his own life this past week.  My heart hurts for him, his family, and friends.  I’m praying for you.  If his trust was in Christ for his salvation, he’s in heaven today (Rom. 5:1-10; Rom. 10:9-13).

1. God loves you (John 3:16).  If you are alive, God has supplied you with the life that you possess (Job 1:21).  The love of God is better than life (Psalm 63:3).  If you know this reality, you shouldn’t desire to take your own life.

2. Jesus died to bring you back into a right relationship with God (Rom. 5:8).  You were created to enjoy God (Gen. 1-2).  The overarching reason why you are considering suicide is because you refuse to enjoy God through Christ in this life.  You must call God a liar in order to take your own life: sin.  Instead of enjoying God through life, you have said, “I will not enjoy this life unless ___________.”  God however promises us nothing on earth; but, we have a hope beyond this world (1 Thess. 1:3).  This is the reason why the apostle Paul could say, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil. 4:11-13).”  You too can do all things through Christ who strengthens you; however, you must come to and depend on Christ.

3. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to reconcile you to Himself (John 14:6), pouring out His wrath on His Son on the cross instead of pouring out His wrath on you (1 John 4:10), if you repent and trust in Christ alone (Mark 1:15), He will declare you righteous before His Father (Rom. 5:1-10).  Maybe the reason why you are considering suicide is because you have never come to God the Father through Jesus Christ?  Or, if you have come to God the Father through Jesus Christ alone, you are not living out your position in Christ?  In other words, it is impossible to take your own life if you are enjoying God through Jesus Christ.  You have added a stipulation to enjoying God; you are saying, “God, I will not enjoy you unless _________.”  God has already crucified His only Son for you… and you want more?  We are boisterous sinners, aren’t we?

4. God made you to bring glory to Himself.  It is impossible to bring glory to God through the sin of suicide; or any other sin. God alone has the right to give and to take life since He is the giver and sustainer of life (Col. 1:16-17; Job 1:21).  Just because you have the ability to take your own life, doesn’t mean that you have the right to take your own life.  We live in God’s world; and He formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

5. You don’t know the future.  Who hasn’t considered suicide at some point in his or her life?  I thought about it often as a teenager.  If I had ended my life then, I wouldn’t have 1) enjoyed God through Christ for the past 11+ years, 2) enjoyed God through my wife, 3) enjoyed God through my children, 4) enjoyed God through pastoral ministry, 5) enjoyed God through the local church, 6) enjoyed God through growing in grace and knowledge, 7) enjoyed God through His gifting of others: sports, art, music, literature, pop culture, etc.

6. If you are coming to God through Christ, you have a hope of salvation (1 Pet. 1:3-5).  There is coming a day when you will no longer feel or know the effects of sin.  Sin, either your own or someone else’s, or both, is why you want to commit suicide. You will be with Christ forever in heaven, if your trust is in Christ. If you are trusting in Him, then you can rejoice in your future and your present life (1 Thess. 5:16; Phil. 4:4).  In other words, Jesus is always worth living for; and you can enjoy Him continually regardless what effects of sin you’re experiencing.  The abundant life is found in Jesus alone (John 10:10); it cannot be found in this wicked world.  Should you be surprised that this wicked world cannot provide you with what you desperately long for: a relationship with God?

7. Once you take your life, you cannot change your mind.  If your definition of happiness is different than “coming to God through Christ,” your definition will change from one moment to the next.  Up to this point, you didn’t want to commit suicide; or, at the very least, you haven’t always wanted to end your life.  How do you not know that you will feel better in a few days, weeks, or years?  How do you not know that your illness will be cured, or your lover will come back to you, or a new friend will encourage you, or you will get a better job, etc.?  I realize that you’re pursuing happiness by taking your own life, but your definition may change in a few days.  If you take your own life today, you will not experience the joys that may be just around the corner. 

8. Your suicide will hurt others.  Think of all your family and friends that will miss you.  Think about how you’re feeling right now at this moment; and now think about your family and friends feeling exactly like you feel… because they miss and love you.  If you take your life, you will make your family and friends feel awful for many years to come.  You may say, “I don’t have any family or friends that care.”  Well, I care.  You are more valuable than you realize.  God cares for you, for He has given you life so that you will enjoy Him (Col. 1:16-17).  If you value human life as much as God does, you wouldn’t even consider suicide.  Every time I hear of someone that has taken his or her life, I always think “How sad!  There’s another human being that did not realize his or her value!”

9. What about those who want to live, but have no choice?  My former teacher in high school and former pastor Mr. Harding had a son that grew up with me.  He however gradually succumbed to a terminal disease.  Every time I see him or his wife, I know they think of their son.  Whenever I was in high school, Mr. Harding told me that it amazed him how those who have healthy lives want to end them, and those who have terminal diseases often want to continue living.  He wished they could switch positions.  I agree.  In other words, please consider the blessing of simply living.  Please, wake up.

10. Have you counted the cost of taking your own life?  Have you considered that suicide will not make you happy?  I know what is on the other side of life: either heaven or hell (Luke 16:19-31).  You will go to one or the other.  Are you sure about where you’re going?  If you are going to heaven, then you realize that you have no right to take your own life.  Only God has this right since He is the One who gave you life (Gen. 1:1; Psalm 139:13; Job 1:21).  However, if you’re going to hell, why are you in a hurry to get there (Matt. 8:12; Luke 12:5; etc.)?  There’s no possible way that your life on earth is worse than what your life will be like in hell forevermore.  

*It must be noted that suicide does not automatically guarantee someone goes to hell.  Suicide cannot be repented of.  Is it possible for a Christian to commit suicide?  Yes; just like it’s possible for a Christian to commit any other sin.  The difference with suicide is that Christians cannot repent since they are dead.  If you are a Christian, and you are considering suicide, then you do need to question your trust in Christ.  Are you really living by faith in Him (Rom. 1:17)?  However, also remember that we are not justified based on our good works, but based on the finished work of Christ (Eph. 2:8-9).  Just like I wouldn’t say that a faithful Christian who was speeding in a car, had a wreck, and died, automatically went to hell; I will not say that a faithful Christian who committed a stupid sin in a moment of weakness–suicide–automatically went to hell.  The blood of Christ cleanses Christians of ALL sin (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5).

What are your thoughts?

This article was originally posted at my site. Only some of my articles are posted on SBC Voices. If you would like access to all of my articles, you can follow my feed here. You can also connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Comments

  1. Jake Barker says

    People who commit suicide are not in a rational/right state of mind. Therefore they cannot make a rational/right decision. God deals with them as He would a person whose mental processes are not whole ie: retarded, insane what ever you wish to call it. If your loved one has made a decision for Christ then he is in Heaven as we discuss this. Praise God for the blood shed on the cross, that covers all sin.

    • says

      David, thank you. Much suicide that occurs is not well-thought out it seems, especially with men? It’s spur of the moment; and the negative realities of suicide are not even considered.

      I really wonder how much the evil one is involved in influencing suicide? Gen. 3 – Satan hates all humans.

  2. says

    Simple question: what makes one think it will be better AFTER? What can they point to as evidence?

    Someone might kill themselves over physical agony, but I understand it is almost always mental agony. Well, why would suicide make THAT go away? Whatever was true before they pull the trigger or swallow the pills will still be there, after, but they won’t be able to deal with it. And a lot of others WILL have to deal with it.

    THAT is cruelty, and the one who commits suicide will have to live with that forever, unable to do anything to change it.

    • Christiane says

      BOB,

      the taking of one’s own life is so against the natural instinct for survival as to indicate that a person is likely impaired in some way.

      I so know that many relatives and friends who lose someone to suicide have anger towards that person,
      but I am wondering if that anger is not a way of ‘coping’ with the question that no one speaks out loud: ‘Could I have done something . . . anything . . . to help him/or her?’
      or God forbid,
      the question that is truly unthinkable . . . ‘Did I do something that might have contributed to his/or her pain?’

      ‘Anger’ is a common way people have of dealing with a suicide.
      In it’s way, it helps them through the shock somewhat. But, in time, the grief of loss will eventually bring in to consciousness those questions initially too painful to be confronted.

  3. says

    I’m sorry about your friend. Our community had two suicides within the past couple of weeks.

    Let it be said that many people who have serious suicidal thoughts cannot be reasoned out of it, not from Scripture or anywhere else. Those close enough to recognize the deep despondency should stop quoting Scripture and try and get the individual medical help.

  4. Bennett Willis says

    Reason 8 seems the most relevant of all those listed. I’ve known several who had friends or family kill themselves and they were all effected in many ways–none of them positive.

  5. Christiane says

    Sadly, it is the suicides of the young victims of bullying that FINALLY prompted many school districts to become pro-active in teaching about how to confront bullying . . . training that had to be given to students, to TEACHERS, to ADMINISTRATORS, and was offered to parents. Programs have been put into place that were never considered prior to the deaths of some innocent victims of bullying who reached out for help that wasn’t there for them and tragically felt that they had to end their own lives.

    Bullying . . . the cowardly victimization of those perceived as having ‘less power’ by those who ‘know’ that they will not be held accountable.
    We find it rising on many fronts in our country. . . too many.
    We can’t ‘look away’, and NOT be morally guilty of affirming it.

  6. Kevin says

    As others have said, a suicidal person cannot be reasoned with. They are not acting rationally. They need medical help. My grandmother was one of the most Godly people I ever knew. In her later years, she suffered from depression and had suicidal thoughts. She knew the scriptures in the OP by heart, but had you quoted them to her when she was ill and used the arguments stated above, none of it would have mattered. She needed medication, which she was able to get, and the crisis passed.

    @Bob Cleveland: In response to your question, “what makes one think it will be better AFTER? ” It’s not about making it better. It’s about making it stop.

  7. says

    I once seriously contemplated suicide after the dissolution of my first marriage. Only God kept me from doing such evil. Had I done that I would have missed getting to see my daughter grow up and having a son who will be 40 on Thursday and who has been a pastor for 12.4 years. He has had 7 additions to his church, three by letter, four by baptism, and is hopeful of four more by letter. Attendance is now running 200 or better on Sunday mornings. My wife and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary yesterday. All of that I would have missed, had I taken my life. And people who pointed out how devestating suicide is for other members of the family are correct. In 72 a family member by marriage did commit suicide, but he also took three other members of my family with him..by murder. The devestation of that terrible tragedy was utterly staggering, a grief that lasts a lifetime, that never goes away, though, thank God, it is does diminish in one’s preoccupation with it.

  8. says

    I have had people I know commit suicide. I also have suffered clinical depression. Regarding number 8, the pain of depression is often far worse than suffering the loss of a loved one to suicide. Telling a depressed person that they would harm others is not a good argument. Someone who is depressed already believes that no one truly cares for him. The problem is that there is plenty of evidence.

    For myself, I see others enjoy great friendships with other people. There are plenty of people who like me and are kind to me. However, I can’t say that any of them aside from my wife, care for me enough to have a particularly close friendship with me… evidence that what I feel is actually true. There’s plenty of other evidence; this is just an example.

    But to suggest that someone bear a greater pain so that others don’t suffer while not providing any evidence that you care for them as you say you do is only evidence that you really don’t care for their emotional pain.

    “You are more valuable than you realize.”

    Actually, the one mental technique I have found that works the best for me is realizing that I have no self-worth. I already feel that way when going through I have no intrinsic value. I have only the value that God has given me. He saved me for His own reason and I don’t need to know that reason. The Holy Spirit has gifted me and He can use that gift or not if He so desires. I’ve failed in ministry time and time again because I figured that God must want me to use the gifts that He gave me, but also because I’m socially inept. If God had wanted me to use my gifts better, He would have provided for it. Since He hasn’t I can only conclude that I’m really not all that valuable. The good news is that He uses me some nonetheless, but not in any way that He couldn’t use someone else to do.

    Now, it’s true that we have the spiritual value of our salvation bought with the most precious blood of Jesus Christ. But it’s also true that practically speaking in this world we each have varying levels of importance and value. This is why we honor some greatly for what they have accomplished in ministry and not others who have labored out of sight. We certainly don’t honor Christians who have not had the wherewithal, the opportunity, or the social connectedness to be more involved in the ministry of the church. As far as this goes, most of us really aren’t that important and it’s rather disingenuous to be told by those that are that our spiritual value in Christ is equivalent to our practical value in this world. The two don’t comport. And saying that maybe tomorrow will be better doesn’t help today. Things that are certain are better than things that are not.

    Number 1 I do indeed know, and I imagine that most Christians who suffer depression also know this. In fact, since there is little evidence that others down here truly care it seems reasonable to prefer going to be with God who really does care.

    “The overarching reason why you are considering suicide is because you refuse to enjoy God through Christ in this life.”

    This is patently false. If you can’t experience the fellowship of the saints in this life or the blessing of a ministry with some fruit, how does one enjoy Christ “in this life”? It’s not because I refuse to enjoy Christ. I enjoy Him, but there is little here to enjoy with Him. Perhaps I should just go away and be a hermit and forget the rest of the world. My home, hope, and joy is not in this life. It is in the next one where I can see God face to face.

    Number 9: “In other words, please consider the blessing of simply living. Please, wake up.” That presumes that the blessing of simply living is the same for all. There is a difference between simply living and having life in Christ. Have you considered that clinical depression CAN BE a terminal medical condition if not properly treated? It’s also a condition that is exacerbated by a lower quality of living where there is very little to live for.

    Someone with an obvious terminal condition is often openly surrounded by prayer warriors. We have a man with a young family in our church, well-respected in the community, who has been through a terrible bout with cancer. We have had exceptional fundraisers for his medical treatment, and formation of an ad-hoc “club” of people to pray called the “Brad Pack”. Depression, on the other hand, is treated with kid gloves and hush-hush standoffishness. There are no big groups of people saying “I’m praying for you. Hang in there. You mean too much to us for us to let you down.” Rather, for depression it’s kept quiet. Normal people don’t want to hear about it. They are uncomfortable and withdraw when told about it. There is a stigma that surrounds it. This adds to the mounting evidence that people really don’t care.

    Some of my fellow commenters have already mentioned that people who commit suicide are not rational. This is true in the case of depression. Depression swirls in the head like a hurricane. It’s a spiral of irrationality that sweeps the mind like a great storm. The worse it is, the larger the storm. One can reason on the outside of it until it becomes so large that it completely consumes a person’s ability to reason. Fortunately for myself, when the storm threatened my sanity, I researched it and sought the medical help I needed.

    What’s the takeaway? Get out of your comfort zone and give people who are depressed all the evidence possible that they truly are cared for. Saying it means nothing. Doing it means everything. That means actually being a friend at times like in the middle of the night when insomnia and loneliness makes depression its worst. And by all means, drag depressed people to the doctor where they can get proper treatment. Don’t let them suffer alone, for they most often do. And on the healthy side of their treatment, don’t let up your support. Depression can manifest itself anew seasonally and your continued support of intimate friendship can help stave off severe future attacks.