What Is Wrong With Suicide?
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 2 Corinthians 1:8
If life is a matter of happenstance or chance, then ending your life when the going gets tough shouldn’t be of much concern to anyone else. But, on the other hand, if life is sacred and you were made by God in His image, then the decision to take your life isn’t yours to make. It’s because life is sacred that most major religions have prohibitions against suicide. But how does God view this? If God has a plan and purpose for your life, would suicide ever be included in that plan? Do things ever get so desperate that God can’t solve them?
Suicide is a statement that says, “God, you are not big enough, or near enough, or care enough to help me out of this mess I’m in; therefore, I see no way out but to end my existence.” It’s a sad statement, one that is totally wrong.
Let’s focus on this particular issue of suicide, which is far, far more prevalent today than most of us want to think. Suicide is a leading cause of death between the ages of 18 and 24. But first, how does God view this issue? Though the Bible doesn’t really say much about this topic, there are five suicides mentioned in Scripture, the first being Saul and his armor bearer (1 Samuel 31), and the last being Judas, who hanged himself.
The Bible does speak of death as an appointment in Hebrews 9:27, where it says, “It is appointed unto man once to die…” Logic would demand that if God has a will regarding your birth, then He would have one regarding the duration of your life and the way it ends as well.
Suppose, to illustrate this thought, that you received an invitation to visit the queen in Buckingham Palace in Britain. You packed your suitcase, taking your best suit or dress and got a cheap flight to London, but not having much money and finding that London hotels are expensive, you ended up staying at a fleabag hotel across from Hyde Park. You arrive on a Monday and your invitation isn’t until Friday. You go down to the restaurant for breakfast and the food is terrible. The eggs are greasy, served with a hunk of pork which the English call bacon. The waitress smirks at you when you ask for rice, and you can’t get a decent cup of coffee.
You say, “There’s no way I’m staying here until Friday!” You grab your invitation, cover the date with your thumb and show it to the palace gatekeeper. Pushing past him and a dozen secretaries, you barge into the room where the queen is quietly signing letters. Yes, I know this is all pretty preposterous but it makes a point. The queen, being the gracious person that she is, might talk with you, but it’s a sure thing that you got there ahead of schedule.
So is it with those who give up on life! Of those who end their lives, one-third are making the statement, “I need help!” It’s a cry for someone to listen. They really don’t want to die. Another one-third are ambivalent—they don’t care whether they live or die. They are so miserable that life has lost its meaning. And one-third know exactly what they are doing and are so depressed, so disappointed, so frustrated that they want to end it all.
The point is this: If life is sacred, it belongs to God, and because He has a will and a plan for you, there is a way out no matter how desperate your life may seem. Of this you can be certain: Never, ever is suicide written on the page in God’s book which has your name on it.
Resource reading: 1 Samuel 31:1-6