Suicide in America is a Growing Tragedy

If current statistics are correct, suicide in America is a growing tragedy. A basic reason is that humans find it hard when society is constantly shifting its moral values. When it seems there is no justice in this world, life becomes confusing and for some impossible.

God is not the author of confusion. In the book of James we find out where this confusion comes from:

James 3:13-16: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

This society has adopted an entire culture that is self-seeking to the point of calling all the evil imaginings of the mind good. And if one dare counter those imaginings, he or she is then considered bad. Thus evil can be considered good and those who oppose evil bad. Such times can cause so much confusion for some that they look for a way of escape, and all too often, suicide is their only means of finding peace.

Have you known someone who has chosen this means of escape? Unfortunately, I have had two encounters with it, and both were very sad events.

The first happened when I was 38. A friend of mine who lived in the Midwest called me one evening from out of the blue. I had not spoken with him for many years. He had been a good friend of mine in high school. I found his call a bit odd, but overall it was an enjoyable experience renewing this former acquaintance. As I found out later, he had also called others of our mutual acquaintance. We ended the call, and not long after, he ended his life.

The second was a young man raised by parents who were members of the church. He himself had not become a member. He had come along on some of our annual backpack trips into the Sierras. He was a healthy young man and seemed to be living a reasonably decent life. He was only 23 at the time.

One evening he called me. He seemed to want to reminisce about the good times we had on those trips into the mountains. He told me he had some pictures of our backpack trips and wanted to send some to me. I told him I would be happy to receive them. We hung up the phone, and within 24 hours of that conversation he violently took his own life.

Let’s imagine the terrible moment when these two decided they could no longer bare living in this world. By their own hands they determined they were through trying to make life work for them, and obviously burrowing deep into hopelessness, they ended their lives. Why?

The hardest thing about suicide is trying to make sense of it. Unless a note is left there is no telling why it happens, and relatives and friends suffer a great deal of anguish and even guilt over such a loss. While suicide may temporarily solve the victim’s problems, it only compounds the problems of those left behind, and thus can do immeasurable damage.

Most who have committed suicide in this world don’t know or don’t believe what we in the church know to be true. We know that to kill, even ourselves, is a breach of God’s law; and a true Christian cannot make such a choice, no matter how intensely his or her mind is suffering. We also know there is a resurrection waiting, even for those who clearly display they have no desire to live any longer.

When those who have committed suicide are raised from their graves, they will no doubt be shocked, and possibly believe their effort to end their lives had not succeeded. Fortunately, God will give them a second chance at life, and in the kingdom of God they will discover the true meaning of life and find the help they could not find in this present evil world. They will also be away from that evil one who broadcasts depression, hopelessness, and despair to all who will open their minds to his negative and thoroughly evil broadcasting.

But for those in the Church today, there is a very positive help when our lives fall into the trough of despair. God’s spirit is there to lift us up. We are comforted and guided by scriptures like the ones below:

II Thessalonians 2:15-17: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.”

Hebrews 4:14-16: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

With God’s plan there is hope for even the most desperate among us, and that’s some more good news we can look forward to seeing fulfilled when Christ returns.