Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time with me will testify that I am not one who gets very emotional. This, of course, is not necessarily true, I just keep my emotion responses strongly disciplined. But when it comes to suicide, my heart breaks. This is a great question and I thank you, the questioner, for having the bravery to ask.
First we will discuss the suicidal thoughts, then we will discuss whether or not there is help.
There is no sin in being tempted. Temptation itself is never sin. It's the response to the temptation that determines the difference between a righteous response and a sinful one.
1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Jas 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
The same is for emotions ... emotions are simply a hormonal response to external stimuli. It's always the response to feeling an emotion that determines whether a thought is sinful or not.
Therefore it is vitally important that we all understand how to reign in on our thoughts and to put away the harmful ones ... the ones that are not of God
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...
We must recognize the importance of remaining diligent in Christ ... not for Him, but in Him. All around us is a world that draws on us ... and the drawing itself is not sin. But once we begin to react to that drawing, we find ourselves at a fork. Mistakes will be made. Many times what we feel ourselves compelled to do we hate ... but it still for some reason magnetizes us. It is only by remaining in Jesus that we can rise above "the sin that so easily ensnares us." (Hebrews 12:1)
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
For a person to commit suicide,that person must first convince him or herself the lie that the people that love him (or her) would be better off without that person. The motivations for a person committing suicide vary greatly. But for the person who struggles with no reason, that person can find extreme difficulty defeating this enemy because there is no itch to scratch. So what does one do?
Well, first, seek God. Lay this all before Him. Consistently give it to Him (though it may be many times a day for what seems like every day). He does not tire of us.
1Pe 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."
Jas 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
It is important here to bring to mind that we should only expose our weaknesses, failures, and strongholds to believers that can actually help us. I always recommend against sharing any of that type of information with a peer. People in the same boat have no idea what is coming up stream. The same for people who are struggling with the same weaknesses. While I am an avid supporter of support groups, the group should always be led by someone who is walking in victory. The blind can't lead the blind, nor should the bleeding mend the wounded.
There is also the risk of being publicly exposed. This is true. The person who leaks that confidentiality will have to answer for it. But we will be free ... no more blackmail from the enemy. And if we think about it, if we were to actually commit suicide, it would be publicly exposed ... usually always is for regular people.
Finally, once we have found victory (through Christ) in an area which once kept us in bondage, we need to stay strong in our efforts to walk in that victory. We should also be looking for opportunities to minister to others who are battling the things we now have victory over.
2Co 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
So to answer the question, it is not a sin to be tempted with suicide but you CAN help it. If you are dealing with suicide I strongly encourage you to get public...find a church that has a suicide prevention ministry. Find a person or small group that you can be open and honest with. They are all around. Strengthen yourself in Christ. If He is for you, nothing can prevail against you (Rom 8:31) ... no weapon, even suicide that comes against you can prosper (Is 54:17). Remember, our most dangerous battles, the things that hurt us the most, are not against the things we can touch (Eph 6:12).
Please don't continue in silence after reading all of this. I promise you that there is healing and even if it may take awhile, the grace of God is strong enough to counter, cleanse, and carry our greatest weaknesses (2 Cor 12:7-9
We hosted a live episode some time back concerning suicide. Here's the link:
Below are some additional resources for suicide prevention and counteraction. Please don't fight this alone. Please think of the life-long pain you will inflict on those who find you. Please remember that moments pass. Please remember that you are discounting the love of so many because of an issue with one. Please think of the people in your future that will love you for you that you have yet to meet. Please realize that the people that cause you pain in your life today, even if they are you family and have drug you through the worst of atrocities, will not be there in your future. Your life is worth preserving!
That's my take anyways!
Don't be confused. LEARN STUFF!!!
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask your question, go to http://www.patrickhazard.com/ask-the-haz.html and fill in the question box!!!
Live episodes coming soon!!! Send in your question and we will answer it!!
Here is a list of resources concerning help with suicide:
Links for information:
www.family.org – Focus on the Family – a resource I absolutely respect
www.apa.org – American Psychological Association
www.psych.org – American Psychiatrist Association
www.cdc.gov – Center for Disease Control
www.aacc.net – American Association of Christian Counselors
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - With Help Comes Hope
1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/ 7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers.
www.suicidehotlines.com – A complete listing of suicide hotlines