Refuting the lies that glorify suicide
God has created every human being with survival instincts. Suicide is not a natural choice. Research shows that most who survive suicide attempts do not attempt it again. Let us pray that no one acts impulsively and takes their own lives because suicide, or self-murder, separates us from God. As believers, we must be careful not to place greater faith in the power of death than in the power of God to help us.
People are driven to consider suicide due to a (false) sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and depression. It usually starts with a legitimate desire to find peace that ends badly with a devastating solution. God promises to be with us and help us through the darkest of situations, He will never forsake us. God never offers people death as a solution. On the contrary, God’s Word equates choosing death with choosing evil.
Isaiah 41:10-13 ESV Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
Deuteronomy 30:15 ESV “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
Whether people are aware or not, suicide says, “I reject this life that God has chosen for me and I turn away from the victory that Jesus has given me over every lie about hopelessness, worthlessness, and depression. I choose to follow Satan, who has been a murderer from the beginning, and murder myself.”
John 8:44 ESV You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him…
Here is what the Bible says about our living bodies.
- When God gave us life, He decided exactly how long we will live. | Psalm 139:16 ESV Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
- Because of sin, we were all destined to eternal death and separation from God. | Romans 6:23 ESV For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Jesus paid the ransom to give us eternal life. | 1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
- Our bodies belong to Jesus, whom we become one spirit with once we accept His salvation. | 1 Corinthians 6:17,19-20 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
- Jesus gives us an abundant life through His Holy Spirit. | John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
- If we destroy our bodies, which He has made temples of His Holy Spirit, God will destroy us. | 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
For anyone who is feeling suicidal, do know that there is 100% hope in Jesus and we do not have to walk through any period of darkness alone. The first step is to please do seek pastoral care and counseling with people who love God and love people.
Refuting the lies that glorify suicide
Counselors who attend to people who have been tempted to commit suicide point to a number of reasons for their behaviour; ranging from depression, significant losses, and unbearable emotional or physical pain to alcohol or substance abuse.
There is usually an intense mental battle that goes on. The Bible makes it clear that suicidal thoughts and temptations come from the thief, Satan, who seeks only to kill and destroy us. As believers of Jesus Christ, we must be alert to how the enemy tries to attack and devour our minds with false ideas.
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Even mature and faithful believers can be tempted. Job was told by his wife, who was in great pain over losing all her ten children, all their wealth and her husband’s physical health, to “curse God and die.” The Bible commends Job for not sinning. We have all had to resist some idea about dying at some point in our lives, even as little children. Victory comes through submitting to God and resisting the deceiver, Satan.
Job 2:9-10 ESV Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
1. “Goodbye, cruel world” is a twisted lie
Ironically, those of us who think we can commit suicide as a way to say goodbye to a cruel world will only find that what awaits after physical death may just be much, much worse. Suicide is a form of self-murder and all murderers will receive judgment (Revelation 21:8).
Revelation 21:8 ESV But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
There are no easy answers when we suffer under the hands of thoughtless, cruel people or systems, but we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus knows our pain because He also suffered incredibly too.
Before being taken to the cross, Jesus was in such agony that He sweated drops of blood, a very rare human condition which occurs during extreme physical or emotional stress. Afterward, He was beaten, tortured, mocked, spat on, stripped naked, humiliated, and crucified on the cross.
Luke 22:44 ESV And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus did not have to go through all this. A few years earlier, Satan had tempted Jesus to throw Himself off a tall building when He was in the desert after fasting for 40 days. In spite of being so weakened, Jesus did not give in to the deceiver’s temptation but rebuffed Satan by quoting the Bible instead.
Luke 4:9 ESV And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
Jesus sympathies with all our temptations, weaknesses and pain. As His followers, we have the privilege to bring every grievance to Him personally. So instead of saying, “Goodbye, cruel world”, we should instead go to Jesus and say, “Dear Jesus. I am in great agony. You know exactly how I feel. Please comfort and strengthen my heart through Your Holy Spirit and fill me with Your hope. You are my greatest Hope. Help me to endure this suffering so that I will experience the character and hope You desire to produce in me through this cruel period of my life. Convict me of the ways I need to repent of so that I can be made new in You. I choose to be faithful to You until the time You call me to heaven to be with You for eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Hebrews 4:15 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Romans 5:2-5 ESV … we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Revelation 2:10 ESV …. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
2. “People are better off without me around” sets our eyes on the wrong persons
Some people consider suicide because they believe that the world is better off without them, that they have little value or are a burden on others.
Sadly, this is when we may have evaluated our worth through the eyes of human beings, who are all self-centred and imperfect without exception, instead of through the eyes of a perfect all-knowing God, who sent His Son to selflessly lay down His life for each one of us. The renewed hope we have in life came at the cost of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Matthew 10:29-31 ESV Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
1 John 3:16 ESV By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us…
Nothing anyone can say or do to us can ever take away our value before our Almighty Father in heaven. Instead of thinking that this world is better off without us, we should instead go to God and thank Him for bringing us into this world for His purposes, not the purposes of sinful, broken people. Let us humble ourselves before God, and express our deep gratitude for His selfless, endless and compassionate love and repent for idollsing people. No human being will ever be able to match His love and constant presence.
Psalm 16:11 ESV You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Lamentations 3:21-25 ESV But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Let us pray, “Dear Jesus, I feel like a burden to the people around me; that I contribute so little. Help me to see the higher purpose You have created me for. Thank you that even if other people, including my own father and mother, abandon me, You will receive me. Thank you that You delight in me as Your creation. I repent for only believing what people say or do, and making the world’s opinions, or even my own opinion, more important that Yours. I humble myself before You God and submit my mind, heart, and soul to You for Your purpose. Holy Spirit, please comfort and strengthen me. Convict me of the ways I need to repent of so that I can be made new in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Psalm 27:10 NIV Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
3. “There is something wrong with me” is a lie from Satan
God never makes mistakes. All His ways are perfect. Each one of us is a walking miracle of life that is an unpolished reflection of His perfection.
Psalm 18:30 ESV This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Unfortunately, we are born into an imperfect world that constantly pressurises us to conform to its imperfect patterns on a daily basis. With constant comparisons, rejection, neglect, self-doubt and abuse, we can slowly come to think that there might actually be something wrong with us. Once we are seduced into thinking this way, Satan, who is described as the accuser, will accuse us day and night in order to cover us with shame, fear, loneliness, and hopelessness. We become confused about who we meant to be, what our purpose is and where to find our hope. Increasingly, it is as if we become blind to the good that God intends to bring into our lives.
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Revelation 12:9-10 ESV …the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth… And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
God is especially close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Instead of mourning over our frailties and imperfections, let us cry out to Him and stay focused on what God, and not what Satan, says about us. We are called into the daily spiritual self-discipline of taking every thought captive to obey God and His Word.
Psalm 34:17-18 ESV When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
For instance, we can start with the Beatitudes that Jesus taught during His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10). Contrary to everything Satan can try to accuse us of, Jesus calls us blessed. We need to place our faith in what God says about us and stop Satan from accusing ourselves, temples of God’s Holy Spirit. It is only when we are fully aware of our weaknesses and helplessness, that we see God work in the most powerful ways. His Holy Spirit personally steps in and becomes our strength and help.
Matthew 5:3-10 ESV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Let us pray, “Dear God, I have many fears, doubts, regrets, and confusions that I cannot overcome on my own strength. Thank you for being here with me right now. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for being attentive to what is going on in my heart and in my mind. Thank you that You know everything about me and yet You accept me with my faults. You have made me for all good things and this world may have distorted my self-image. Thank you that You sent Jesus to die for me so that I can be made new again and overcome my fears, doubts, regrets, and confusions with You by my side. Please help me identify the lies, and their sources, that keep me in bondage. This process will be not easy but I will not give in to hopelessness, because that is a trap from Satan. I choose You, Jesus, please come and help me. Convict me of the ways I need to repent of so that I can be made new in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
4. “They will regret what they have done” is a fruitless form of retaliation
Committing suicide to spite other people is the worst tantrum we can throw at our own expense. Suicide does not bring about meaningful change in other people over the long run, it only hurts the people who do care for us tremendously. When we become fixated on the people who have hurt us, we invariably ignore the ones that love us. There are no winners at the end.
Instead, true freedom from pain and grievances comes through forgiveness, rather than being enslaved to a few people, to the extremity of killing oneself just to prove a point to them. The best way to bounce back from abuse, betrayal or theft is to release the offenders to God for His perfect judgment and live peacefully and joyfully, free from the pain, in spite of what has happened. This is how we overcome, and not become overwhelmed.
Let us, therefore, choose to take off the chains of bitterness off our necks by repenting to God for our ungodly desires for revenge and choosing to bless our enemies. We are called to overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21 ESV Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let us pray, “Father, I cry out to You in my pain and suffering. Listen to my anguish! Life seems unfair that I have been treated this way. How can my offenders get off so lightly? I am tempted to judge, hate, condemn, gossip about and hurt them. I want my justice! Help my soul wait for Your justice on them, instead of trying to take Your place in punishing others. Keep me from wanting to do something evil. Instead, please help me to see my offenders for their own weaknesses and fears, and forgive them. I know Satan is the true enemy instigating their evil actions and they are merely captured by the devil to do his will. Instead, I choose to be faithful to Jesus and endure evil and correct others with gentleness, in the hope that they will be convicted by the love that God shows them through my actions and be saved by Jesus too. Jesus, please come and help me. Convict me of the ways I need to repent of so that I can be made new in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
5. “I can’t live without …” cheapens life
“I can’t live without you” is a common line in songs and advertisements that cheapens the immense value of life. Some suicides occur as a result of the loss of a loved one, a job or a way of life. God has given us so much to enjoy in this life, and it would be a mistake to pivot the meaning of one’s life on one earthly aspect, rather than on God’s purpose for us. We all need God to open our eyes and hearts to His higher meaning in life.
God has suffered great loss too; the loss of a pure relationship with His own children to Satan’s lies, the first being Adam and Eve. Then there is the loss of His amazing creation on earth to abuse and destruction, as well as the grief of seeing Jesus battered and hanging on the cross in spite of His purity and innocence because only Jesus is perfect enough to cover our sins.
Let us pray, “Father, thank you for being in control over every circumstance. Thank you for what You have given me – as well as the loss You have allowed to happen. I confess I tend to look at what I don’t have and forget all that You have given me. I humbly ask for Your forgiveness, especially where I might have judged You as being cruel and mean. I bless Your name instead. Thank you that You empathise with my pain too. I do not know what is ahead of me in life but I trust You have a higher plan. I ask for Your peace to be patient and to seek Your will. My suffering may be short compared to the number of days in my life, but right now, it feels very real and I am filled with grief, hopelessness, and pain. Please comfort me and keep me from any evil impulses. Convict me of the ways I need to repent of so that I can be made new in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Job 1:21 ESV And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
We are called to die to sin, not to life
People have a great propensity to bounce back from hardship and loss. It helps us grow stronger, wiser and more resilient, particularly as we anchor ourselves on God’s truths.
If we choose to die, it is to die to sin and lies from Satan – not to life and hope in Jesus. Let us live victoriously through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, regardless of our circumstances and experiences. Jesus also endured pain and suffering and He knows how to help us. Like the apostle Paul, let us say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Romans 6:11-13 ESV So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Philippians 4:12-13 NLT I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
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