About 40,000 people in North America take their own lives each year, and many more try unsuccessfully. You may have been directly affected by this tragedy or know someone who has been affected by it in one way or another.
Suicide is also a difficult subject to talk about. Few things are more serious or sobering. Perhaps that’s why many try to avoid dealing with it at all. But it’s a necessary topic for Christians to discuss openly—and to find a way to address in a biblical manner.
Why? Because life is everything. Without life, we do not feel, we do not know, we cannot love—we can’t even comprehend the words printed on this page. Most people inherently know this. Every year, we spend billions on medicines, surgeries, exercise regiments, and supplements to prolong our lives. When a heart monitor flatlines, medical teams regularly spring into action to resuscitate.
Life is also the greatest gift. From the very beginning, God intended for our lives to be joyful, abundant, and exhilarating. That’s why He made everything to be good, good, and “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But with the fall of humanity, thorns appeared on the roses and tears preceded the joy of birth. With sin, pain invaded God’s Creation.
Yet even while stained by spells of sorrow, life is still a wonderful thing. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also affirmed, “I am the bread of life … which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:48, 51). God gave you life because He wants you to live!
God also wired you with a powerful instinct to preserve your own life. Even so, some become overwhelmed with their physical, mental, or emotional pain. Their heartache seems unbearable; they cannot see beyond the dark clouds. They believe that ending their lives is the best or even the only option available to them.
But it is a drastic “solution.” Once “the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken,” there is no going back; suicide ends all hope and all other options (Ecclesiastes 12:6). And for all we know, a person just might be one day away from a bright future or better circumstance—and will miss all that God has planned for him.
If you have a friend or loved one who took his or her own life, keep reading. I’m trusting you will find some hope and encouragement.
If you’re thinking about suicide, I’ve been there. I know it sounds simplistic but—please don’t do it! For your sake, the sake of others, and for God’s sake, keep living. “Choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). And keep on reading this book.