Memory Verse: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you”-1 Peter 5:7.
Bible Passage: Romans 5:1-8.
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s death and deliberately killing one’s self. Research shows that approximately 90% of people who have died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time. The most common mental illness reported is depression. Also, many suicides happen impulsively in a moment of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness. In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, (physical, sexual emotional, verbal and so on) discrimination or loss and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour. Intense sadness and hopelessness, not caring about activities that used to matter, withdrawal from family, friends, sports and social activities; substance (drug, alcohol) abuse are some of the common signs of suicidal thoughts.
1. Biblical view of Suicide
2. Antidotes to suicidal thoughts/attempts
The Biblical View Of Suicide
The Bible views suicide as equal to murder (self-murder). God is the only one to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the Psalmist. “My times are in thy hand…“(Psalms 31:14). God is the giver of life. He gives and He takes away (Job 1:21). The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Sam 31:4), Saul’s armour bearer (1 Sam. 31:4-6), Ahitophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18) and Judas (Matt. 27:5).
Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No one should presume to take God’s authority upon them to end his or her own life. Some people in Scripture felt deep despair in life. Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life”(Eccl. 2:17). Elijah was fearful and depressed and yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point were under great pressure that resulted in despair (2 Cor. 1:8).
However, non of these men committed suicide. Solomon learned to fear God and keep his commandment (Eccl. 12:13). Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest and given a new commission (1 Kings 19:5,15). Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God (Jonah 4:1-3;8-11). Paul learned that, although the pressure he faced was beyond his ability to endure, the Lord can bear all things (2 Cor. 1:9).
ANTIDOTES TO SUICIDAL THOUGHTS/ATTEMPTS
According to the Bible, suicide is a sin (Ex. 20:13). Therefore if you or anyone around you expresses suicidal thoughts or exhibits self-harming behaviours, seek pastoral and professional help. In addition, the following steps may help to rescue anyone having suicidal thoughts.
- Take a few moments to consider letting God prove His love to you (Romans 5:5).
- Know that Jesus identifies with you in times of rejection and humiliation (Isaiah 53:2-6).
- Jesus Christ endured suffering and shame so that you might have all your sins forgiven and your weight of guilt removed (Romans 5:7-8, Romans 8:32).
- Know that Jesus will forgive and repair your brokenness and restore your joy if you humbly receive Him as your Saviour (Is. 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:17).
- Be assured that Jesus will always come to your rescue whenever you are in trouble if only you cry or call upon Him (Psalms 61:1-2; Jer. 33:3; Ps. 50:15).
CONCLUSION: No matter how bad things are in your life, there is the God of love who is waiting for you to guide you through your tunnel and out into His marvellous light.
- What is the biblical view of suicide?
- Mention the antidotes to suicidal thoughts/attempts
ASSIGNMENT: From the lesson introduction and contemporary environment, identify any five (5) sources of suicide (2×5=10Marks).
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