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 Fear

Finding God through Facing our Fears

InsideoutFear

I recently watched the Disney film Inside Out, where Riley, an 11-year-old girl, faces unknowns when her family moves across the country. In the “control room” of Riley’s mind, five emotions are personified and guide her life. One of these emotions is Fear, whose job is to protect Riley from danger. He is constantly on the lookout and evaluating potential risks. But unregulated, Fear is very unsure, panicky and, at times, completely ruling Riley’s life.

Similar to Riley, apart from Christ, unhealthy fear can rule my life. There is a healthy God given-fear to help and protect us. It warns us of danger and draws us close to God for his courage, strength and direction.

There are unhealthy fears, too. Fears of our sinful human nature distort what is true about our circumstances, identity, and most importantly, God Himself. Unhealthy fears push us away from God and protect sin. These fears tell us that God is not good, he does not love us, he cannot be trusted and he will not provide. They urge us to take matters into our own hands and to not trust God.

Fear has had various “flavors” throughout my own life. I’ve had fear of: rejection, failure, not belonging, hardship, aging, loss of beauty/health, and being unsupported without direction. When I don’t admit and bring my fears to Jesus, I choose to be a slave to fear. And as a result, I live with unhealthy patterns. I self-protect. I over-work or withdraw to avoid failure or rejection. I worry. I avoid the risks of truly loving someone because it may be hard. The root of my fear is that I don’t trust God for my significance and fail to rely upon Him to meet my needs. I am afraid that God is not enough for me or that His plans for me won’t be best.

But there is great hope! When I admit my lack of faith to God and I am honest about my fears, He leads me step-by-step on the healing path. He reveals unhealed wounds, false beliefs or idols affecting my life. These things get in the way of my relationship with God and my relationships with others. When I let God address my heart’s distractions, God begins to heal me and recapture my heart. He leads me through my fears into real truth, intimacy, freedom and love.

Being courageous doesn’t mean you will never have fears. Courage is coming to God when you are afraid, trusting Him with your fear and allowing Him to lead you through the unknown. Here are a few questions to help you turn to God when you are afraid:

  • What is your specific fear?
  • What is the root of your fear? Are you trying to protect, avoid or gain something?
  • What do you believe about your circumstances, or yourself?
  • What do you believe about God?
  • What does God say in His Word about your answers above?

Below are a few wonderful truths about God and how we can trust Him with our fears. These scriptures would be great to memorize if you struggle with fear:

  • “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
  • “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:14-15)
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

If nothing can separate us from a good, loving and powerful God, then we can trust God’s control rather than submit to our fears. Through Christ, we can trust God to lead us in love through any adventure.

-Liz B.

If you want more information on this topic, check out these stories about trusting God when you are afraid or anxious

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recovery in Christ when life is broken.