5/10/2017 3:11:26 PM
Jesus is Your Reason
I'm guessing that suicide is a pretty sensitive topic for you. If you're like me and many, many other people you know someone who has made the tragic decision to end their own life. Grief hardly describes the pain.
I remember working with a gal a few years back. Let's just say she had a lot of baggage. Much of it her own making, much of it the circumstances of life that she found herself in. But she was reaching out to the church, she was coming back to the Lord. She was coming to Bible class and hearing (and rejoicing!) in her Savior. What prompted her to end her own life, I cannot know. But I trust the Lord, and I trust his promises and his word and those promises were at work in her life.
There is no one straight answer for why suicide happens. I'm fairly convinced by my own research into the subject that most suicides happen because of an underlying mental illness. That's why, as a pastor, I deal with this sensitive topic with love, compassion, understanding and, most of all, the love and comfort of our Savior. God's grace is sufficient for us. God's grace is enough for us.
This is why I must speak out and warn against a dangerous and reckless bit of popular culture. Perhaps you have heard of a show 13 Reasons Why. It's based on a book by the same name. It's enough to say that this show deals with the topic of suicide in a very reckless way. There is hardly a mention of underlying mental illness, there is no intervention. There is only blame. It teaches a very unfortunate lesson: we can blame others for our decisions and use suicide to solve our problems and get back at those who have hurt us.
I'm guessing most of us are appalled at this. Good. Be appalled. There is no reason why we should sugar-coat how dangerous this show is.
But much, much, much more importantly, we need to reach out. There is no problem so big that God cannot solve it. There is no human so sinful that Christ did not die for them. There is no sin so ugly that you are not loved by God, cared for by God and comforted by him. To those in our lives struggling with mental illness, we have a unique opportunity to reach out with the compassion of Christ and help them carry that burden. To those who may contemplate suicide we need to listen and to direct them to people who can help. They don't need our judgment. They don't need our anger. They need our love.
The show promises to give 13 reasons why the person committed suicide. But there is only one reason we never have to go down that path - it's Jesus. It's his love that comforts the soul. It's his promise of forgiveness, of an eternal peace that reminds us that God is not angry with us, that we have all of his love and nothing less. Jesus is our reason.
For more information about the show and how to talk about, especially with teens and children: http://christianfamilysolutions.org/blogs/parents-guide-13-reasons-why
National Suicide hotline, available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255 or call your local church.