The taking of one’s own life – suicide – is self murder. Make no mistake, it is a sin and it is a crime. About the only way a suicide could be punished in this life was to refuse them burial in what was known as sacred ground. Relatives of the deceased had to find somewhere else to bury them. Gradually that ban was lifted and those who died by their own hand were permitted burial among the rest of societies dead.
If one accepts the scriptures as authoritative in such matters, then a passage in Genesis Chapter 9 seems to clearly give God’s mind on the matter of taking one’s life: “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man, whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man, shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He man” (See verses 5 and 6). God will require that justice be satisfied in the taking of one’s life even if one takes his own life. But do not read into that text more than it says. It does not say that such an unfortunate is forever lost and consigned to hell fire. Just what God will require of the suicide is actually left unsaid.
When life becomes unbearable one needs to seek another avenue of escape other than ending one’s life. There is a burden bearer – Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Come unto me ALL ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Notice that the summons is extended to all – all without exception. And the promise is that Jesus Christ WILL give such rest from the burden of depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, a bad marriage – whatever.
And there are two great truths that every would-be suicide needs to keep ever in mind: 1) One never knows what is around the corner of time. Perhaps the most fulfilling, happy, glorious days of life lay yet ahead, and 2) One can always hold out a little longer. Even those who say they cannot endure one more hour or one more day, if they would but put down the gun, step back from the river’s edge, take the noose from around their neck, they would find that they can indeed hold out a little longer.
There is a Christian song that says “Tears are a language God understands.” And that is true. God’s promise is to wipe away all tears from our eyes. We are not to stop the tears from flowing by killing ourselves. That really is no solution at all, for the suicide is then faced with the terrible sin of murder, self murder – and there will be a day of reckoning. “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ….every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (See Romans 14:10,12).
The would-be suicide has perhaps tried everything else. Why not try God? Why not surrender your life to the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit and enjoy that peace that surpasses all understanding? “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3). The would-be suicide’s mind is fixed on self, one’s own problems and hardships. Fix your mind on God and on His goodness and eagerness to help, to bless and console.
Fear God and keep His commandments. One of those commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.” “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are but dust…..But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him” (See Psalm 103:13-14, 17).
God knows what you are made of, friend. He knows your emotions, your personality, your physical and mental strengths or disabilities, and He still says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” Take Him up on His gracious offer and live.
Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),