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Today, I'm going to talk about a sensitive and difficult subject. It's a subject rarely talked about in churches or school.
This morning I want to talk a little bit about suicide.
Suicide is a major problem among teenagers. It is the third leading cause of death among teenagers, after accidental deaths (car accidents) and homicide.
And I would dare say that a majority of teenagers have had thoughts of suicide at one time or another.
Why would people want to commit suicide?
Depression. Loss of hope. Loss of meaning and purpose in life. Substance abuse. Intense emotional pain. Belief that things cannot get better.
They think that it's the only way to make things better.
Is it wrong to think about committing suicide?
I don't believe so.
Actually, Jesus himself was tempted to commit suicide.
Matthew 4:5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You' and 'On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.' "
Like all temptations, nothing is wrong with being tempted. But it becomes wrong when we act on the temptation.
Is it wrong to commit suicide?
The Bible doesn't come out and directly say, thou shalt not commit suicide, but it does come pretty close.
Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or ado you not know that byour body is a 1temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from 2God, and that cyou are not your own? For ayou have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in byour body.
Tips on how to deal with thoughts of suicide
Remember that it is a temptation. It is not from God, but from the devil. The devil came to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give life.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they amay have life, and 1have it abundantly.
Fill your thoughts with the word of God, not negative thoughts. If you think about one thing all the time, you'll probably be soon doing that one thing.
Philippians 4:7 Finally, brethren, awhatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is 1lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, 2dwell on these things.
Often people consider suicide cause they see no other solution. It is not the only solution and you don't have to think there's no way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and aGod is faithful, who will not allow you to be btempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Don't be alone. It's harder to commit suicide when someone else is around.
And the main thing is to talk to someone about it. Even better, talk to an adult about it. If you don't know of anybody, there are phone numbers you can call to talk with someone about it (1-800-SUICIDE). And it might even be necessary to talk to a professional about it. There's nothing wrong with that.
Joni Eareckson Tada
I want to end by sharing about one person who wanted to commit suicide, but a friend wouldn't let her. Since she has decided not to commit suicide, she's had a very successful life.
She has won:
- The American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award
- The Courage Award from the Courage Rehabilitation Center
- The Award of Excellence from the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center
- The Victory Award from the National Rehabilitation Hospital
- The Golden Word Award from the International Bible Society
- An honorary Bachelor of Letters from Western Maryland College
- An honorary Doctor of Humanities from Gordon College
- An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Columbia International University, the first honorary doctorate bestowed in their 75-year-old history
- An honorary Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary
She is on the board of:
- Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
- Christian Medical and Dental Society
She is an advisor for:
- American Leprosy Mission
- National Institute on Learning Disabilities
- Love and Action
- Christian Blind Mission International
She has written over 30 books. And won 3 awards.
- Evangelical Publishers' Association's Gold Medallion
- Silver Medal in the C.S. Lewis Medal Awards
- EP Gold Medallion
She was named "Churchwoman of the Year" in 1993 by the Religious Heritage Foundation and was the first woman to be honored by the National Association of Evangelicals as their "Layperson of the Year."
She is currently the Honorary Co-Chair of the Presidential Prayer Team.
This person is Joni Eareckson Tada.
In 1967, she broke her neck in a swimming accident and became a quadriplegic. As she was sitting in a hospital, she wanted to die. And she asked a friend to assist her in killing her. Her friend refused to do it and talked her out of suicide.
Acts 16:26 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Matthew 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
Judges 9:54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.
Judges 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines.
1 Samuel 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abusec me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followedg, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
1 Kings 16:18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died,
Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
John 8:20 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Youth Suicide Prevention Education Programs
Joni Eareckson Tada:
Power to change
Posted: 2004-03-08 09:14:01
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