Why Do People Attempt Suicide?
Some attempt to take their life because they are in a pit of depression and gloom, and see life getting only worse, not better. They see suicide as the only way to escape the horrible depressive feelings in which they’ve become mired. They have taken their eyes off the Lord and lost all hope.
Overwhelming guilt causes some people to try to end their lives. In some cases people would rather face death than risk being “discovered”. Perhaps they’ve been involved in an affair, or embezzled money at work, or become addicted to drugs. Rather than have their family and friends discover the truth, they decide to end it all.
Financial loss causes some to take their lives. Sometimes people who lose an expensive home by flood, fire, or the folly of co-signing someone else’s loan decide death is to be preferred over suffering through such a loss.
Some women who have gone through a divorce, and lost all sense of financial security, in desperation also turn to suicide.
Some commit suicide because of health problems. The issue of medically assisted suicides is a topic of hot debate in our country today. People who have incurable cancer, who are severely injured in auto accidents, or who are paraplegic sometimes choose to take their lives. They cannot bear the thought of living out the rest of their lives in a wheelchair.
Loss of a loved one causes some to contemplate suicide.
Some feel they cannot handle the overwhelming grief they feel, and decide they cannot go on living without their loved one.
Some people take their lives because of low Christ-esteem. They fail to realize they have any sense of worth in Christ. We need to base our esteem on the worth and dignity we have in Jesus Christ alone.
The one common denominator in all suicide attempts is the person’s utter loss of all hope. It is the overwhelming sense that the situation is beyond repair and will only grow worse. He not only sees no way out of his predicament, but sometimes doesn’t even want to see a way out.
False Notions About Suicide
“There are usually no warnings before someone attempts suicide.”
Many believe suicides happen suddenly, with little or no warning.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
- A suicide attempt is often the culmination of struggles that have been brewing for months, even years.
The person contemplating suicide leaves clues all along the way; we must be perceptive enough to pick up on them.
- “People who leave hints about contemplating suicide usually don’t attempt it.”
We’re told that four out of five people who attempt suicide have made previous attempts.
Some wrongly believe if you show a suicidal person any interest or pity, you’re only feeding that person’s ego and pride.
- When people threaten to take their lives, it’s a cry for someone to respond.
“Suicide is somehow genetic, and runs in the family.”
- There is no evidence to support such a claim.
Sometimes, however, families are so devastated when one member takes his or her life that someone else in the family later attempts suicide.
- This isn’t because “suicide runs in the genes,” but because suicide is so devastating to other family members.
“People who threaten suicide cannot be talked out of it.”
- Studies show the more earnestly someone offers a suicidal person hope, the higher the probability the suicidal person won’t take his or her life.
In most cases when someone is contemplating suicide, the scales have tipped toward how hopeless the situation is.
- If someone just talks to them, and shows them reasons why there still is a reason for living, they often can tip the scales and save that person’s life.
“If someone commits suicide, he or she is either mentally ill or not a Christian.”
- This myth prevents a lot of people from receiving help.
The truth is, many sane and Christian people reach a place of despair and can see no way to go on.
- It can happen to anyone, Christian or non-Christian.
- Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of all time, yet even he almost threw in the towel at one point (1 Kings 19:4)
“Most people who take their lives are very sick or elderly and have only a short time to live anyway.”
- Statistics indicate that by far the majority of suicides occur among people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four.
“People who threaten to kill themselves are only seeking attention and don’t really mean it.”
- Most people who talk about taking their life carry out their threat.
That is precisely why we should never ignore a hint, let alone a threat that someone may attempt suicide.
If you’re contemplating taking your own life, please, immediately divulge your plans to a trusted friend, pastor, or professional Christian counselor. Don’t keep such thoughts bottled up inside you. Ask for prayer and counsel. Then together, consider the following truths from God’s Word, the Bible.
Counsel From God’s Word
Your life is a gift from God!
The Bible says about each life: “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).
The Hebrew word “heritage” means gift or trust.
You, yourself, exist by God’s design.
You weren’t an accident.
Your life is a gift from an all-wise, all-powerful God.
To destroy that gift is an affront to the One who made you and loves you.
To destroy yourself is to commit murder.
It’s a direct violation of the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
There is a finality to murder.
There are no reruns or second takes
Also, once you have murdered yourself, there is no opportunity to repent before God for what you’ve done, let alone apologize to your family and friends.
If your attempt doesn’t work, you have more than likely maimed your body for life.
The Bible teaches us that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and deserves special honor.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whome you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Whether your attempt works or doesn’t, you will violate this direct command from God’s Word.
Suicide may appear to be an out for you, but you’ll bring agony on your family for the rest of their lives.
Suicide is the ultimate selfish act because it confirms that you’re only thinking of yourself.
“For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone” (Romans 14:7).
The grief, the agony, the unanswered questions you will leave behind are a terrible price to pay for something you think will put you out of your misery.
There is a better alternative to suicide.
It’s called trustin in God to work out the complex strands in your life.
We see a wonderful example of this in the Old Testament.
When David and his men returned to the city where they were living, they found it destroyed by fire, and their wives and sons and daughters take captive by the enemy.
David’s men were so distraught some even talked of stoning him.
It was probably one of the very lowest times in David’s entire life.
David’s solution when he came to the end of his rope?
No, even though it probably crossed his mind.
In all probability, he was tempted by Satan to kill himself, perhaps as futile attempt to “save face.”
Instead, “David found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
The end of the story is one of rejoicing after a great victory.
David and his men rescued their families and recaptured one hundred percent of all that had been stolen.
Why all this good fortune?
David trusted God rather than take his own life.
The Lord has promised to respond when you go to Him with problems bigger than you.
You won’t be let down, disappointed, or turned away (Jeremiah 33:3).
Remember, whatever you’re going through is not permanent!
Whatever trial, hardship, disappointment, or situation you may be going through will not last forever.
That’s why David could write: “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
God has a way of redeeming our circumstances, and restoring our losses.
He could promise the nation of Israel: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25).
The Lord has a way of bringing back the money, honor, character, marriage, health, profits, joy, peace, and tranquility you may have lost.
Physically, your situation may never change.
Perhaps you’re disabled or disfigured after surgery to remove a cancerous lump.
But what about your heart attitude? If you’re going through the depths of depression, don’t forget that God is Jehova-Rapha, the Everlasting One who heals you
Thievery is involved in suicide.
When you take your own life, you are stealing.
You are robbing the world of all the potential wrapped up in you.
If you are a teenager, your hands may someday be the hands of a surgeon or concert pianist; your tongue may be that of a famous orator, instructor or preacher; your eyes may look through electron microscopes to hasten an end to cancer; your mind may be that of a famous research scientist, cyberspace guru, or theologian.
To take your life cancels all those possibilities.
The Bible says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Every individual is endowed with his own set of giftedness and potential.
Premature death by suicide assures we will never become what God intended us to be.
If you attempt suicide, you usurp God and put yourself in His place.
If you take your life in your own hands is to assume you’re greater than God.
The Bible makes it clear that the day of our death is known to God, and nothing will change that.
David praised God that, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).
Job declared: “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months, and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).
For us to take our own lives before our “allotted number of months come to an end” (Job 21:21) is tantamount to saying we know more than God about our own personal welfare.