recovery in Christ when life is broken

Why Should I Not Kill Myself?

I loaded my shotgun, flipped off the safety and put the barrel to my head. In my mind, life was no longer worth living. But something kept me from going through with it.

 

Fear.

What would happen to me afterward? I didn’t know if I truly wanted to end my life or if my pain was just too great to know what to do next. Ultimately, thankfully, I was afraid to go through with it…and, deep down, I don’t think I actually wanted to.

 

What I won’t tell you…

I’m not going to list a bunch of anecdotal things to try or whatever else those 50 reasons not to kill yourself lists say when I googled it. When I was in that dark place, those things would have been insulting or laughable. So, I’m going straight to the root of the issue.

 

Why not kill yourself?

To be frank, in case you don’t read any further,…because what awaits you after death may be infinitely worse than the hell you are in now.

 

Does everyone who commits suicide go to Hell?

No. BUT…not everyone goes to heaven. So this merits thinking and truth. Let’s look at some reasons to live:

 

Why should I not kill myself?

  1. Death won’t solve the problem. Ultimately, your problems are spiritual problems. Your spirit continues after death. The torment in this life is NOTHING compared to the torment of Hell. If you die before receiving the forgiveness of your sins by trusting in Jesus as your LORD and Savior, you will spend eternity in Hell. This is not narrow minded or fear-mongering; it is true and loving. It would be hateful to know that eternity in Hell awaited someone and not tell them the only way to eternal life.
  2. Suicide is Satan’s will and desire for you…and you don’t want to follow him. The Bible says that you have an enemy named Satan. His aim is to keep people in sin and lead them to death separated from God. If he does so before they trust Jesus, they will spend forever in Hell tormented with him. Satan hates God and wants to destroy God’s most precious creation: YOU! Do not follow Satan by killing yourself.
  3. It is the most selfish thing you can do. This may seem insensitive, but it’s a loving statement: Life is NOT about you. Many people despair because they are so focused on themselves and their situation. God doesn’t intend for us to live like that. Self-focus leads to self-pity leads to self-preservation, including self-harm/self-murder (“I’ll kill myself so that you can’t hurt me anymore”). But what if life is not about you? What if our existence has a higher divine purpose? To move beyond self-focus in this world and into a higher calling of life’s eternal purpose. This is what God says the entirety of the Bible is: to love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40).
  4. Death is not your decision to make. God has ordained every day of your life. It’s not for you to determine the day of your death. He designed you to know Him through Christ and to carry out a divine purpose. He wants to bring you life, peace, and joy – now and forever. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes (God’s) saw my unformed substance; in your book (the book of life) were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
  5. Suicide allows bullies, abusers, and haters to win. If you’re considering this because of what someone has done to you, don’t let them win. Don’t let hatred and injuries you have suffered have the final say. Don’t fight hate with self-hate or self-murder. Your life has great value. Run to God and let him vindicate you.
  6. If you have trusted in Jesus, you will still be held accountable for your suicide. If you have trusted in Jesus, then your life is not your own. Committing suicide is against God’s will. Your sins will be forgiven, including the sin of self-murder, but you will have to answer to God for your rebellion. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). If you commit suicide, you will die without finishing the good work God has planned for you. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  7. Killing yourself is foolish, cowardly, and sick. Sometimes we imagine a grandiose memorial or that suicide would be vengeance on those who harmed us. The truth is, people would pause for a funeral service, then life will move on…people will have birthdays, celebrate holidays, get married, have babies. The desire for remembrance is fueled by pride…pride is bad reason to kill yourself. The desire for vengeance is fueled by hate…another bad reason to kill yourself. And, vengeance belongs to God. You will not be around to witness the aftermath of your death anyway.
  8. Lastly, it’s often darkest before the dawn. Many peoples’ lives change dramatically when they are at their breaking point. It is often when people truly surrender their lives and wills to God and stop living for themselves. I am one of those people. I wanted to kill myself in 2005. I was alone, filled with despair, hopelessness, hatred, unforgiveness, addiction, and anguish. Within a few months, though my circumstances were the same, I was filled with joy, peace, hope, purpose, love, forgiveness, and an entirely new life. What made the difference? I realized that I had been living for myself and calling all the shots. My decisions had caught up with me and I wanted to die. Then, I knelt beside the couch that I was living on and gave my life to God. I trusted Jesus and asked him to save me. EVERYTHING CHANGED. He didn’t make me better; Jesus made me NEW! That’s the good news of Jesus for YOU, too: God loves you. He sent Jesus to die for your sins. Christ rose from the dead, showing He was not just a man. If you trust in Him, He will give you a new life, forgiveness of sins and you will live forever where there is no pain or tears.

 

There are MANY reasons for wanting to die. Some of God’s most faithful people (for example, Elijah and Jonah) were hurt so badly that they wished God would let them die. The pain of life is real. But, the answer is never suicide. God can heal your pain, redeem it, and use it for good if you give it to Him. Pray to Jesus right now. He WILL help you! And…so will His people…

 

If you are still considering suicide, reach out to a local church and tell them what you are thinking. Tell them you are thinking about suicide, and need to know about the hope of Jesus Christ and how to have eternal life. If you still are feeling the pull the kill yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

-John E.

 

For more information check our the Self-Injury topic in the Struggles section of our website.

in Faith

Five Things God Taught Me Through Tragedy

One day I was playing basketball during my lunch break and got a phone call that changed my life…” Jeff, you need to leave immediately and go straight to the hospital…your 2-year-old niece has been hit by a car and it’s serious.”  I remember the panic that ran through my body. My heart raced as I grabbed my keys—so many questions and no answers. By the time I reached the hospital, I took one look at my older sister (who was standing outside of the ER) and knew that my niece had died. Kara was gone. In 15 minutes, our lives had changed forever.

 

As information about the tragedy came in, it was more horrible than I’d imagined. My brother-in-law had accidentally backed over her while moving his trailer. My sister, along with my 5-year-old nephew, witnessed it.

 

That was twelve years ago, and our family still carries the scars of walking through this tragedy together. Though I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy, it is a part of a story that God has entrusted to us as a family. He ministered to us in very special ways during this time. You may have experienced something similar (or maybe something worse) but I write this to demonstrate that God can redeem, restore, and use really bad things in our lives to help us know Him more.

 

Though the Lord taught us much through this tragedy, I want to share 5 specific things: 

  1. Theology matters. (Psalm 119:111)

Questions about God and His character are thrust to the forefront when tragedy strikes; Questions like “Where is God?” and “Why didn’t God stop this from happening?” I’ll never forget my sister’s words as she was troubled by bad theology spoken by friends and family…with tears in her eyes she said, “Please tell me the devil didn’t steal my baby from me!” She was hearing from them that “that old devil stole your baby away” …as if God had somehow fallen asleep at the wheel. I went home that night and compiled many Scriptures to help her navigate her grief and give her a true understanding of God, His character, and his ways. 

  1. God’s presence is most potent in times of tragedy. (Psalm 23: 4, Mark 4:37-39)

I remember a strange supernatural peace that was present with us at the funeral home as we hugged friends who tried to comfort us...thinking, “Why are other people so despairing?” I remembered coming to the realization that God is an “ever present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He provided a peace that transcended understanding during this difficult time. Some would call this “shock”- but that is too simple of an explanation for the power that we felt to be able to comfort those who were visiting us. 

  1. God speaks in little ways to remind us He loves us and is in control. (Psalm 73:26)

I will share one example (of many) that my sister relayed to me. My sister was having doubts as to whether she was a good mother to Kara, and even that “if she would have been a better one, she could have prevented this tragedy.” A few weeks after Kara’s death, she was cleaning my mom’s house to “give herself something to do”, when she “happened” on an e-mail that my mom had printed. This e-mail, from several months before, went on and on about what a great mother my sister is. It described several specific instances where my mom had noticed this about my sister. My sister cried as she read it, and said that it was as if God was whispering, “You see, I love you. You were a great mother.” 

  1. God taught me the “Ministry of Presence”. (Proverbs 25:20, Gal. 6:2)

Words were not adequate to either give me comfort or express the magnitude of my grief during the first few days of our loss. But, I remember who came to the funeral- the friends who took time out of their “busy” schedules to grieve with me-it was very powerful and important. And years later, my brother-in-law told me that the one thing that meant the most to him during our time together was that I was present and by his side (touching my shoulder with his) during the most difficult parts of the first few days of our loss—no words, just presence. 

  1. God gave me a special heart for others who go through similar tragedies. (2 Corinthians 1:4, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Since Kara’s death, God has used my experience with tragedy to comfort others who have experienced trauma. I feel a special calling to be there for others during hard times, and I am equipped to navigate the difficulties that come when tragedy strikes.

 

God never provided us clarity as to “why” this tragedy happened, but we felt God’s presence throughout it. We still treasure the many passages of scripture that God used to comfort us.

 

The following year, on Easter (I can’t make this stuff up), my sister gave birth to another baby girl, Jordyn Grace. Although we will always miss Kara, we treasure little Jordyn. When we look into her eyes, we are reminded of both the intense pain from the past and an amazing hope for the future. God is good—even when life (and death) doesn’t make sense.

-Jeff K.

recovery in Christ when life is broken.