Considering Suicide (Part 1)

national suicide preventionYes.  I’ve considered it.  I was 12 or 13 at the time.  New home.  New school.  No friends.  I was shy and overweight.  Girls? Well, I was just starting to notice the girls, but they didn’t really notice me.  They were nice and all, but no romantic interest (as if 12 year-old’s know anything about being romantic).  I was depressed and I remember thinking with a knife to my chest, “If this was what life was going to be like, I don’t want to live anymore.”

Many of us have considered suicide.  Many have “succeeded” in the task to end their lives on earth, but they failed everyone else around them.  Many have “failed” in their attempts at suicide, but in their failure, they have gained so much more in life.  For me…I failed. And I am so grateful to God that I did!

If you’ve considered suicide or are considering it, you are not alone.  Not only because others have thought it and desired it, but because God is near to you, loves you, and has a plan for you.  It may not feel like it.  But it’s true.  He also gives answers in His Word to help you as you consider it.  Let’s look at one man who considered suicide in the bible and what this shows us about considering suicide.

In Acts 16:25-34, there was a man, a jailer overseeing the inmates Paul & Silas & others, who was about to end his life because he didn’t measure up to his assigned duties.  

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  

The jailer failed. He knew his life was over when he thought the prisoners had escaped. As a punishment, the governing authority would kill him for his negligence, so instead of letting his life be in the hands of others, he sought to take matters into his own hands.  But just before he was about to kill himself, an intrusive, yet important voice enters his hearing…

But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

Have you heard this intrusive voice?  “Stop!”  “Don’t do it!” “Things will get better!” – Maybe it’s in your mind or maybe the voice of a trusted friend.  Listen to this voice!!!  It’s so easy to listen to the other voices (audible or inaudible) that say “It won’t get better.”  “This life stinks!”  “Everyone will be better off when I’m gone.” “No one loves me, so I might as well end it now.” Etc, etc.   These voices do not speak truth, but are lies based on feelings and perceptions.

Paul then states, We are all here!  This is such a small and often overlooked statement, but it has huge ramifications.  There is only one thing the jailer needs to hear right now… only only one thing that can get him to stop in his tracks…Truth.  His decision to commit suicide is based on what he perceives, but not on what really is.  The overwhelming circumstances he is encountering is entirely based on his perception.  The jailer doesn’t see the whole picture. Why? First, he was sleeping, so he didn’t know what happened while he was in dreamland.  Second, it was still dark in the jail.  When he awakes, he sees the cell doors open and assumes all have escaped.  Paul’s statement, “We are all here,” is more than a informative statement of their presence, but a declarative statement that it is not as bad as you perceive it to be!  Do you hear that?  It is worth repeating.  It is not as bad as you perceive it to be!

When considering suicide, the bigger picture fades into the impossible and unreal while perception becomes truth.  In the darkness, the jailer did not see the whole picture, but only a small portion.  The most urgent thing on his mind was how much he failed (sleeping on duty, open cell doors) and what his future would be due to his failings (being put to death).  This was a loss of hope.  Not wanting to suffer through the humiliation, his rash decision almost led to his ultimate failure – giving up on life.  It was only when he stopped to listen to the voice and opened his eyes to the truth that his life began to change.

Just when he thought his future was over, his decision to keep going by faith produced hope, peace, and joy in his life.  Click here for “Considering Suicide – Part 2” for the continuation of the jailer’s story as recorded in Acts 16.  

If you are considering suicide, seek help – we all need it sometimes.  You may click on the picture above or call the number listed on the picture to talk with someone who can help!

If you would like this presentation to be given at your church or youth group, please contact us at info @ foundchristcounsel. org or by calling 570-402-5088 (ext 1).