I was searching through your website for Q&A based upon our church and its beliefs and I was wondering if you can send me any information on suicidal situations and what the Bible has to say about it.
Please email me back as soon as possible.
Our faith teaches us that, no matter how hopeless our plight in life may seem, with God there is always cause to have hope. Our Lord continually emphasizes this, not only by His words, but likewise by His deeds, and most specifically by the miracles that He performed which transformed what often seemed to be hopeless situations into occasions of joy.
As seen in the image of Judas, who sunk into despair and hopelessness and hung himself—he, like the Wise Thief, could have repented and sought and received forgiveness—when one forgets that “with God, all things are possible,” one can indeed sink to such a state of despair that suicide might appear to be a solution. However, as we know, suicide is never a valid solution to life’s trials and difficulties and, as such, it might be termed the ultimate form of despair, the ultimate admission that even with God, there is no hope for one’s life and crises.
God is the Source and Giver of life—life which is sustained by the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within each of us. To willfully take one’s life, then, is to willfully cut oneself off from the Source of one’s life, to project a sense of hopelessness that cannot be reversed, even by the God Who sent His Son into this world precisely to give us the faith and hope to see, to accept, and to share His divine love. There is no problem, no crisis, no sin that is too great to overcome, if only we hold fast to that hope which is, as Scripture teaches, in us by virtue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Who abides in us and claims us as God’s own.
Of course, there are many factors to consider in cases of suicide, just as there can be many factors which would lead someone to despair and hopelessness. There are those who would, on the one hand, see suicide as an unpardonable sin, one which precludes one’s salvation. On the other hand, there are those who would acknowledge that one who takes his or her own life cannot possibly be acting in a clear and conscious manner, being overcome by darkness or intense mental or emotional illness. In the case of any given suicide, of course, it is difficult to discern the multitude of factors that can lead to such personal destruction, leading many to reserve personal judgment against a victim of suicide. Complex as the issue can be, one thing, however, is certain: Our lives are not our own but, rather, a gift from God—a sacred gift entrusted to us which must be used wisely, nurtured lovingly, and accepted thankfully, regardless of the difficulties one may encounter. As such, our life is not ours to take, any more than taking the life of another is ours to take.
There are those who would categorically claim that those who commit suicide are victims—victims of overwhelming odds, victims of a bad upbringing, victims of abusive situations or addictions or any number of unfortunate circumstances. Indeed, such can be the case; regardless, it is precisely to lighten such burdens that Our Lord came into the world, proclaiming new life for all who would opt to change their hearts and minds and vision and direction and accept the hope that He freely offers to everyone who desires it, regardless of their sins or odds or upbringing or addictions. In Him, there is no situation, no problem that is too great to overcome; in Him, we are reminded that what overwhelms us today is often forgotten tomorrow, if only we focus on Him in faith, cling to Him in hope, and become one with Him in love.
In short, suicide never solves the problem; rather, it prevents us from putting the problem behind us, with God’s help, while delighting in the new life that He, and He alone, promises to all who place their burdens on Him.
I hope this is of help.