Taking Your Own Life
“For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:7-8
Suicide is epidemic. Regardless of its causes; that is, loss of all hope, excruciating pain, ignorance of whether or not your life is yours to take, suicides take place every moment around the world, with no end in sight. They can be the bullied teenager or the terminally ill octogenarian, the PTSD impacted soldier or the jilted spouse or lover. Suicide victims come from all walks of life and circumstances, from all ages and both genders. It happens, apparently, despite any sure knowledge or great concern of what happens immediately after. To them life, their life, is not sacred. It is not worthy of protection.
Life in this world begins and ends every day. Humans are born and humans are killed or die in every minute of each day. Millions of conceived human beings never even see the light of day outside the womb; purposefully. Is human life really so sacred? Or is the death of human individuals so common place that there is little difference of human life being snuffed out, just as much as a mosquito being swatted? If human life is so sacred, as some claim, what makes it so?
If there is not a Creator of life, and life is not the result of some intelligent Creator-Designer, but is rather a totally mechanized, random event begun by accident in some primordial soup; and once initiated (that is, unexplainably sparked into being) it is unable to cease, until some just as random deadly force in the universe snuffs out all life, and the universe subsequently goes cold and lifeless, just as we know and observe now in all places beyond our earth’s atmosphere; in that case, human life has no meaning or purpose or goal. But, if indeed there is a Designer and Creator of life, wouldn’t He have something to say about the importance of what, and who, He created and sustains, and to whom or what He gives sacred value?
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome, writes this: “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8) I am sure there are many people who give very little attention, if any, to this truth or accept it as true. They believe they are their own and no one other than themselves have any ownership of them. If they want to take their life, it is their choice alone; and they show they have the power to do that, because they are successful in suicide. But then, they immediately stand before God with accountability for their actions, because they have no power to snuff out their existence completely. God still determines their eternal home. No one has the power to annihilate themselves from being a living, eternal soul.
Many live under the myth they are their own “god.” They, and they alone, determine their own being or non-being. The Bible says this is but a myth; it is completely erroneous. Committing suicide is never annihilation. Nor is it, necessarily, to end up for all eternity in some far better place, nirvana. Nor is suicide, potentially, the unforgivable sin. It depends on what has been done with God before taking their life. Christians have committed suicide, and yet sometime prior to it have exhibited the fruits of regeneration, before falling into a hopeless, painful pit, where, for whatever reason, they were unable to throw all their cares on Jesus, recognizing He cares for them.
There is mystery, and there is mercy. Why they reached this state and succumbed to it is often shrouded in mystery. Yet, if they genuinely trusted Christ for salvation before coming to this awful place where they were driven by their circumstances to not trust Jesus, there is, I believe, mercy still before the Mercy Seat of God, where they will find themselves the moment their breath is snuffed out. However, if they have not come to God through Jesus, His Son, before taking their life, they are still in God’s hands, though subject to His judgment, which the Bible clearly warns will result in God’s rejection, and eternal punishment. “Depart from me, I never knew you,” Jesus said of those who refused to hear and obey His words.
Suicide in all circumstances is tragic! There is always, with a living and merciful God, a far better solution. Life is indeed sacred, even if one does not see their life in that moment as sacred, worthy, or hopeful. With Jesus all things are possible. Nothing, again I say, nothing, is ever hopeless. People are driven to despair and suicide because of severe anxieties. But God’s Word promises that all your anxieties can be cast on Jesus, because He cares for you. It is a matter of whether you trust God, and take Him at His mere word.
Will the God of all creation, the Almighty One, not keep His promise? Belief that He is as He says, loving and true, just and righteous, is what stands between you and your glory; to be rewarded by Him with glory, as He promises, or punished by Him justly and eternally as deserved. Hold your own life and other lives as sacred, no matter the anxieties which drive you to despair. Hope in Christ never fails, and is the only solution to utter despair. As the Psalmist plaintively cries out in Psalm 130, in his despair, he waits on the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. In other words, no despair is so desperate, or pain so debilitating, or any healing so out of reach, that waiting for the Lord is not only possible, but absolutely necessary. The watchman who urgently waits as though his very life depends on the morning rays of sunrise will get his reward.
“I wait for God, the Lord, and on his Word my hope relies; my soul still waits and looks unto the Lord till light arise. I look for him to drive away my night, yea, more than watchmen look for morning light.”
(from Psalm 130, The Psalter, 1912)
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