Suicide – A Tragic Reality – Hope 103.2

Suicide – A Tragic Reality

The headline in a newspaper report from The Sydney Morning Herald (26/9/18) caught my attention. It said “Lifeline calls for 25 per cent suicide reduction target after deaths spike”. It made for shocking reading actually.It said in part that death by suicide had risen by 9% in 12 months. The chairman of Lifeline called this […]

By Chris WittsTuesday 11 Dec 2018Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 4 minutes

The headline in a newspaper report from The Sydney Morning Herald (26/9/18) caught my attention. It said “Lifeline calls for 25 per cent suicide reduction target after deaths spike”. It made for shocking reading actually.

It said in part that death by suicide had risen by 9% in 12 months. The chairman of Lifeline called this ‘an outrage’. In 2017 in Australia there were 3,128 deaths by suicide. How tragic—and sad. Something is wrong. Of the number who died by suicide in 2017, depression was experienced by 43%. There also was drug and alcohol misuse. More men than women die in this way. Suicide is a painful and perplexing situation. I wish answers were clearer. When a person takes their own life, it is a tragedy beyond comprehension. We are likely to think in terms of failure—failure of will, failure of family, failure of friends and church. There is not one good thing about this.

What can we say about these factors? Is it all too hard? You probably know of at least one family where this has happened. It is terribly sad and distressing. Every suicide is an attempt to say, I need help. People will use faulty reasoning, and have a deep sense of hopelessness. They’ll say things like, Nobody cares about me; I wish I were dead; This world would better off without me. If you’ve ever been to the funeral of someone who has committed suicide, you’ll never forget the experience. There is usually a lot of anguish, confusion, anger and guilt.

Suicide has been said to be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The name suicide comes from the Latin word sui, meaning ‘of oneself’, and cida, meaning ‘to kill’. And statistics show us that a wide range of people have contemplated and committed suicide as I have already shared with you. Alarming statistics.

When a person commits suicide, it can be a very selfish, unthinking act—designed only to gratify themselves and cause remorse for those around them. In those circumstances, a person does not consider God or his plan for their life. But there are also other times, when suicide is the result of a mental illness or incapacity of rational thought. Some people who go through the difficulty of bipolar disorders, or suffer from severe depression can be dangerously susceptible to suicide, especially if they are not receiving medical treatment or counselling.

Act to Prevent Suicide

If you are contemplating suicide, or know someone who is, there are some insights that can help you in those difficult times.

First of all, don’t be afraid to call someone and ask for help. Don’t let pride get in the way. Much of Satan’s power to convince those who feel unloved and hopeless is found in his ability to keep them isolated and removed from those who can lift them up.

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Secondly, ask Jesus Christ to give you new hope and to give your life meaning. His life indwells you, and his resources are constantly available in your most desperate moment. If you are not the one struggling with the issue of suicide but have a friend or someone in your family who seems to have given up, there are some things you can do to help that person.

Be able to recognise clues the person may be giving, either consciously or subconsciously. Look for symptoms such as depression, signs of hopelessness, lethargy, and so on. Listen for threats and words of warning, such as, I have nothing to live for. Be aware of whether the person becomes withdrawn and isolated from others. Trust your judgment. If you believe there is an imminent threat of suicide, trust your instincts. Don’t let others dissuade you from loving intervention.

Tell others. Don’t worry about breaking a confidence if the person is obviously contemplating suicide or says he or she has a plan. As soon as possible, involve the help of others, such as parents, friends, spouse, teachers, ministers, physicians, anyone in a position to assist the distressed individual.

Stay with the person. If you believe the person is in danger of carrying out the plan, do not leave the person alone. Wait with the person until medical help arrives or the crisis has passed.

Suicide is an act of selfishness. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Even though life’s problems have got you down on life, God has created you and you are alive for his purposes! John 16:33 (NIV) says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus himself admits life isn’t going to be easy, but he also lets us know that he has overcome the world, and that he’s there so that we can turn to him.

I know life appears to be unfair and that people kick you around when you’re down. You may have a long journey with depression. Or problems with your family, or your talents have been overlooked. I want to tell you that when Jesus is lord of your life, there is nothing impossible for him.

The Bible has hope for the darkest periods of our life. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”