Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Scourge of Suicide

Suicide seems to be a scourge in society these days. The more aware we seem to be, the less aware we actually have become. The suicide rate from 20 years ago compared to now is radically different. I don't need to pull up trending statistics to know that it has wildly increased. We can become as clueless as we want to (a trait we love to hide behind), but if we don't choose to be more aware than we are, this scourge may actually hit closer to home, if it hasn't already.

Why would a person with a functioning rational mind choose termination of their life to deal with whatever issue they had? Hopelessness, confusion, disillusion, pain, the list can go on and on. Can we ever understand the mental process involved in being suicidal? Of course not, but we can choose to become more aware in order to be prepared to address it. To do this, some traits of ours would have to be eradicated

Superiority Complex: I've had conversations with people on facebook who think being suicidal is a thing of the western culture. I suppose when Elijah was suicidal in 1 Kings 17, he was being a westerner? It is such a myopic mindset that makes suicide flourish in society. We presume we are better than anyone who is fragile and weak enough to feel suicidal. The sad truth is, many people feel suicidal, and don't quite follow thru with it. It doesn't change the fact that they felt the desperation of failure or hopelessness. There is nothing weak about feeling suicidal; it simply means one is overwhelmed with the pressures of life and its issues, and one needs resources on handling life and its stress.

Christian immunity: The next misconception is thinking a Christian cannot come to a place of being flustered enough to become suicidal. I doubt many of us have had a face to face conversation with God like Elijah had, to operate in divine power like he did, to perform mind boggling miracles like he did. Yet hopelessness and depression and mental fatigue brought him to a place of such pain that he dared to form in his mind that self annihilation could be a viable option. Likewise, sometimes when we as Christians get overwhelmed and distracted, it is possible to meditate so much on our issues, that we get seduced into a lie. We may have the Spirit of God abiding in us, but we still have the choice of submitting to him, and choosing not to focus and meditate on pain and hopelessness.

Accuser of the brethren: That is supposed to be the meaning of Satan, yet these days, it seems many Christians have opted to be Satan assistants - running around with flashlights, perpetually looking for sinners to accuse. They lie and claim they love the sinner and hate the sin, yet no iota of compassion is ever evident in their vile vitriolic spewings. Jesus showed empathy and compassion for the woman caught in adultery long before he addressed her sin. We however pounce on sin immediately with such vehemence, then claim we love the person. And we wonder why the world and its conflicting messages seems more effective in reaching some people than we Christians are. The days of accusing and condemning people has to end. We should be compassionate and show love, like our Master did. That's the only way we can affect those suffering around us.

Sexuality confusion: It is vast becoming an epidermic for confused teens and pre-teens regarding their sexuality to resort to suicide. We can't be that clueless not to see this as the enemy's agenda at work. So we would rather have children commit suicide than accept them, and love them? What sort of insanity is that? Are we so threatened by sexuality issues that our fear causes us to be silent and watch suicide sweep through our youth? As long as there is life, there is hope - of course that isn't the case once a person snuffs himself. We should make up our minds to put whatever bias we have aside, and be pro-life. We don't have to understand or accept sexuality difference in order to support life, do we?

Drug Addiction: Another issue that has suicidal tendencies heavily in it. Finger point and condemn is the usual way we treat addiction strugglers, yet have we ever considered that the struggler may be caught in the throes of imprisonment, and may very well hate the very thing they do? How many churches address addiction issues? How many churches welcome addicts? Addicts are no longer the crack head in the dark alley; addicts are functioning professionals and even choir members and active parishioners and even preachers. Yet even if an addict is a despicable dirty scoundrel in the gutter, aren't we the people most qualified to minister to them? Unless of course we are just noise makers who have no interests but ours at heart.

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out" - Isaiah 42:3

Healing should be our virtue. We should be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, not the pain instigators. As complicated and complex as life is, there are many out there looking for hope and healing. Some are even fellow Christians sitting next to us in church, or preaching to us from the pulpit, yet ravaged by such inner conflictions that suicide is slowly becoming a viable option. The days of saying "I wish I knew", are over. We know our responsibility is to love the unlovable, and to show compassionate to the unfortunate. Being accusers and condemners was never part of our calling in Christ.

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