With two well-known people committing suicide this week, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, it’s difficult to stop ourselves from asking “Why?”. Society tells us that if we have money, love (or sex), a great career, and a famous name, we should be contented and desire nothing more. Yet we consistently see people end their lives when they do indeed “have it all.” What causes this? I’m not sure I can say for certain, although I also suffered from suicidal thoughts twice in my life. I know what it is to feel trapped in your current life, unable to be set free from the ties that the world and your own actions have tied around your ankles and wrists. I have been to the point where I’ve felt like I might take my life and I sat on the floor, staring at a bottle of pills, and frantically calling my mother because I was afraid of what I might do. Not once did I really desire to end my life, but it felt much bigger than me. It felt like the enemy himself was attempting to end my life.
It’s so hard to begin to process what could possibly push a person so loved by the world, so financially secure, so famous, to end their life. I’ve seen and experienced a portion of the suffering around the world and I know that people who live with nothing, who have been abused, very often do not take their own lives. Sometimes they do, but usually you see people push through until the end. So, what causes suicide if it’s not life circumstances? I believe it’s something much more sinister than anyone can imagine. Oftentimes you’ll see people write, “Wow, he/she had a lot of demons.” “Man, they had so much personal suffering.” Don’t we all suffer inside of our minds and souls? Don’t we all have “demons” we must battle each day and night? Of course. I’m not sure what propels one person to take their life while another can battle on in life, but I’m not a psychologist. I can only speak to the spiritual aspect of this terrible thing.
I haven’t read all of the Bible, but I know that there are several people in Scripture who want to die when their life circumstances turn sour. Job and King David are two examples. But we never actually see a believer commit suicide. The two times I’ve seen suicide mentioned in Scripture were when Satan attempts to convince Jesus to kill Himself and when Judas Iscariot, filled with the devil at the time, killed himself. The first instance is particular to Jesus but we see forms of it today in spiritual warfare. Satan told Jesus, “If You’re really the Son of God, throw yourself off of this cliff. The angels will save You.” The other instance is when after betraying Jesus, Judas Iscariot hangs himself in his grief and shame. Those two instances were facilitated by Satan himself. Satan is the father of suicide.
Suicide is the unnatural death of a person at their own hands. They are choosing to stop their lives and to go into the great unknown. Although we believers have a glimpse of what awaits us, a foretaste of glory divine, we don’t really know what lies beyond this planet. So, to choose to leave what is known and to venture into the unknown, especially not knowing if heaven or hell is real (in the case of so many people), it must take great desperation. That person must be in a mental state so low that the only viable option for them is to depart from this earth and go to another place, even if they don’t know what that other place is. I believe that suicide is the work of Satan himself. It comes from the pit of hell. God is the One who first breathed life into our bodies, the One who fashioned our bodies together in our mother’s womb, the One who consistently allows our hearts to beat and our lungs to breathe. He is also the One who decides when our time on earth has finished and then He takes our lives. If we are believers in Jesus, He sends His angels to bring us to His dwelling place, heaven. If we are not, we are cast down into the fiery depths of hell. That’s what Scripture teaches. To take our own lives is to go against God’s plans for us. If we decide that today will be our last day on earth, but God wants us here another 40 years, we are defying God. We are saying that He is wrong. That we cannot handle life anymore. That life isn’t worth living at all. We aren’t saying these things out of a place of selfishness, as so many people say. Rather this all comes from a place of utter hopelessness. In fact, many people who take their lives believe they are doing their family a service by removing themselves from the picture. They are not selfish. They are desperate.
There are believers who take their lives. Although it’s more difficult to find those in the Church who will openly talk about this, it does happen. John Piper tells of when he had to help clean up after the suicide of a friend who struggled for years with depression. This man was a believer. John Piper says that in that moment, a person isn’t in their right mental state. They’re so far entrenched in depression and darkness that they do not fully understand what they are doing. God has mercy for this. God understands. He understands what it is to suffer. His Son, Jesus Christ, suffered on the cross for us and died, giving up His Spirit into His Father’s hands, willingly dying to bridge the wide expanse that existed between us and God. Through His death, we are now united with God forever and nothing and no one can ever take us from the LOVE of God! God is Lover, Father, Friend, Counselor, Protector, Brother, and Savior.
Should you find yourself in a place where you are considering suicide, or if you’re being tormented with unwanted suicidal thoughts and aren’t sure what to do, I have some advice.
- Tell someone you trust.
- If you don’t have that person, call a suicide hotline.
- If you don’t want to do that, call the police and tell them.
- Seek counseling from a licensed mental health professional.
- Consider medication as a way to lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Put your faith and trust in God!!! (This is really number one)
- Get connected with a local church and share about your suffering.
- Keep pressing on.
I love you all. I’m always here to talk if needed.