Please, don’t take your life …

Several weeks ago, Steve and Robyn Bloem were gracious enough to send me a copy of their book, Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You’re “Losing It” (Kregel Publications, 2005).  Shane has drawn attention to this book before, here, here and here.

I’ve been working my way through this book and was really struck by a list of reasons Steve gave to himself to convince himself not to commit suicide.  This is a dark and difficult subject and is often not blogged about in polite company, but I was struck by how thoughtful and gripping this list was. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, perhaps this list might serve as a place to start when thinking of reasons to choose life:

  • It is a sin and would bring shame to Christ and His church.

  • It would please the Devil and would weaken greatly those who are trying to fight him.

  • It would devastate family members and friends, and you may be responsible for them following your example if they come up against intense suffering.

  • It may not work, and you could end up severely disabled but still trying to fight depression.

  • It is true – our God is a refuge, “and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Ps. 9:10).  God, your Father, will deliver you through what you are facing.  Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:10 that God “delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope.  And He will yet deliver us.”

  • Help is available.  If you push hard enough, someone can assist you to find the help you need.

  • If you are unsaved, you will go to hell.  This is not because of the act of suicide but because all who die apart from knowing Christ personally will face an eternity in a far worse situation than depression.

  • If you are a Christian, then Jesus Christ is interceding for you before the Father, that your faith will not fail.  He shares your afflictions.  Psalm 56:8 says, “Put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not in your book?”

  • God will keep you until you reach a day when your pain will truly be over.  Wait for God’s time for that, not your own.  According to Revelation 7:17c, “God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”  After going through some awful things, Paul was still able to say, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).

Pgs. 59-60.

May God be pleased to strengthen his dear ones who are at the edge of despair and fighting the temptation to take that short-cut through suffering instead of waiting on God’s timing (something easier said than done, and indeed, impossible to do in one’s own strength).  May his Holy Spirit indeed comfort them with that peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:7).

____________________________
R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)
Anaheim, CA

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5 comments on “Please, don’t take your life …

  1. Thanks for this timely and helpful post, pastor Compton. In the last week I had a nephew who took his life after 7 years of deep mental suffering. By God’s infinite mercy and grace alone we believe he was the Lord’s, and not his own – though he acted as if he was at the end. His death has touched many, and I would pray that the things listed here would weigh heavy on the hearts of those who have been in this darkness. I plan to get this book and read it, so that I might use it as a resource. I always appreciate your blog and have often used your recommendations. In Christ, Chuck .

    • Dear Chuck,

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t begin to imagine the deep grief you and your family must be feeling in this time. I pray God will comfort you all deeply in this time.

      As for the post, thank you for the encouraging words. I am thankful to hear that we’ve at least been able to direct you toward is particular book, but also towards others in the past. I am always thankful for the opportunities God has given us for learning in this day and age. May he continue to teach us all more about him and his word!

      Blessings, my brother,

      Andrew

  2. Reblogged this on The Three R's Blog and commented:
    This morning in my email box was this timely and helpful post about what looks to be a great book on mental illness and depression ,including a section on suicide. The author apparently was near that himself, and put down these reasons for why he should not. They are excellent and I believe will be useful to those who know the dark pit of discouragement and despair. I have ordered the book and plan to read it for my own benefit, as well as to pass on to others. You may want to do the same. -cjt

  3. Chad Justin Gilbert says:

    Reblogged this on On the Horizon and commented:
    A good look into the healing of Christ and assurances to keep striving forward through the darkest parts of life.

  4. Joyce says:

    Thank you for mentioning this book. I was able to look through almost the entire book on amazon.com and have ordered it. Depression is definitely stigmatized, even in this day and age. I remember a pastor from one huge “mega church” in my area talking about depression like it’s not even a disease; it’s Satan’s curse and one should be able to just snap out of it with strong faith. I don’t attend that church anymore. Thanks for alerting me to this book. It’s mine now.

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