Most of us have, in one way or another. As a leading cause of death in America and across the globe, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t felt the pain of losing someone to suicide. In my own personal life, I mentored one young woman who attempted suicide twice, and am best friends of another woman who contemplated thoughts of killing herself for years.
When I was asked to discuss this subject, I will admit that I was hesitant to do so. Partly because I did not believe my own knowledge of suicide would do it justice. And partly because I did not want in any way, shape, or form, to cause undue pain to anyone who has contemplated suicide, attempted it, or is feeling the effects of someone who has carried it through.
Before I continue, I want to say that more prayer went into these words and into this research than any written word I have ever done. And that God has shed light on truths that need to be spoken and love that needs to be shared.
With this in mind, here is what the Lord showed me.
1. Suicide is Murder
Exodus 20:13- “You shall not murder”. (NET)
When God established the people of Israel as set apart for himself, he gave them a series of 10 laws and commandments. One of them was the commandment you see above.
God has made it clear that the taking of innocent human life is a sin. Ever since Cain took the life of Able; “But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!.” Genesis 4:10 (NET). Dr. Jason Hiles states that as we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) that there are a certain dignity and respect of life that comes from God giving us this privilege.
This includes yourself. This includes the body that God knit and formed and created as his own for His goodwill and good purpose. Psalm 139 says this in verse 16; “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (NET)
Genesis 1:27- “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NET) And the taking of life, even if it is your own, is to take the life of someone bearing God’s image.
2. Suicide is not unforgivable
There is a contingent (albeit a small contingent) of Christians that believe suicide is the unpardonable sin. The one sin someone can commit that cannot be forgiven and separated a person from God forever. According to Dr. Jason Hiles, there is no biblical evidence to suggest this. And an interview with PS Jon Enter gave further clarity into this subject. PS Enter explains that the only sin deemed unpardonable is the sin of denial of the person of Jesus Christ. The sin of rejecting Christ. This is the ONLY SIN that a
person could commit that would forever separate them from God. And this is widely agreed upon by the evangelical church community.
Though suicide is a sin, we are still able to be forgiven from it. However, there was a lingering thought in my mind. One that I truly needed further clarification on.
What happens to a Christian whose final act is one of sin?
I want to back up a moment to remind you that I mentored a young woman who attempted suicide. I will tell you that this was not someone who I expected to struggle with this. She had a family who loved her dearly, parents who supported her, a strong relationship with Christ, and such a persevering attitude that the knowledge of what she faced caught me off guard.
If she had succeeded in her suicide attempt, what would happen to her?
Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention helped to clarify this. “We are not saved on the basis of the last thing we did. We are saved by the grace of God.”
When Christ died for our sins, he covered all of our sins. ALL OF THEM. Meaning the one in our past, our present, and the ones we didn’t know we were going to make in the future.
Ephesians 2:8- “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (NET)
3. Suicide is not the answer
When my best friend told me how she had contemplated suicide, it shed new light on what drives someone to end there life. Suffering. Pain. Hopelessness. The constant struggle of life only to feel yourself get knocked down again and again and again.
We’ve all faced this. At some point or another, we have all faced seasons of suffering. Each person’s season of suffering is different, and no one likes going through them when they are happening. Isaiah 48:10 gives us an illustration of suffering using silver and fire. To refine and purify silver and gold, the metals are placed into environments of high temperature, until the impurities surface and be scraped off. And God, to purify and sanctify his people, refines us through suffering.
Psalm 119:71- My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. (NET)
2 Corinthians 4:10- Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (NET)
If you or someone you know is contemplating ending this suffering, may I submit to that it may be too soon?
God shapes lives though suffering. He molds our hearts through suffering. He leads us along the straight and narrow road towards him through suffering. He is preparing you for something. And to take that life away is to deprive others of what the Lord wants to do in and through you.
1 Peter 5:8 and 9- Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering
you are. (NET)
Before I close, I would like to leave one final thought. One final prayer with you.
Our lives are not our own. They have been forged and formed. They have been bought and paid for. They have been planned out and destined before the formation of the world began. The life you have been given is a gift, even though some days it doesn’t feel like it. And God has given us this life to live. Abba Father, thank you that you have given us life. And that you have made it worth living. Give us the courage and strength to face the suffering before us, and to turn our eyes toward you in the midst of the
CCG Author Miranda Hedlund
For Russell Moore’s interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-o4PpCkjV4
For Dr. Jason Hiles’ interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
For Ps Jon Enter’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to this number or share it. We are here to pray with you and for you!