Suicide from a Biblical Perspective. Part 3.
What can you do against suicide attempts?
It is important to intervene in the cause of the depression as early as possible. Because that depression is not the cause, but is a consequence of something else. Remove the real cause and the effect (depression) disappears too.
The depression may be so severe that you have to work on two fronts at once. So, not only the cause (relationships, financial problems, insecurity), but also the consequence: tackling the depression.
And for that, we also take the example of that broken leg. If you break your leg…. Are you going just going to pray and have a herbal tea and have a good conversation with the neighbor about it? Of course not! You go to a professional doctor as soon as possible and start treatment as soon as possible. The leg is put in a splint with which the healing is started and temporarily something is also done about pain relief.
You should do the same with depression. So, no, a sweet and nice conversation with your neighbor with a nice cup of tea will not help you enough here either. Seek professional(!) help and start the temporary medication if necessary.
Is Going to a Doctor Biblical? Just some examples:
- Doctors are mentioned twelve times in the Bible.
- Bandages (Isaiah 1:6), oil (James 5:14), oil and wine (Luke 10:34), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12) and balm (Jeremiah 8:22) are used in the Bible for healing.
- Luke (you know, the third book in the New Testament) was a doctor. See Colossians 4:4
- Paul advised Timothy about medical treatment (1 Timothy 5:23)
Wait a minute… Didn’t Jesus give Paul the power to heal? And yet… he did not heal his great friend Timothy and gave him medical advice…. Something to think about…
Running to a doctor for the slightest thing is not the intention, but there is a limit we can handle as humans… and then you really have to go to a good professional(!) doctor. Nothing wrong with that, quite the contrary.
Let’s put it more clearly: God has given us doctors. Isn’t it arrogant, then, to know better than God and not take advantage of it? That’s not right, is it?!
And still… we haven’t come to the end of this long story. Sorry. It’s too compiled to be short, we’re almost there:
People with severe depression have become VERY good at acting. They do not consciously choose that, but it is a survival mechanism. They usually don’t see that they do.
Why? If you are honest and give an honest answer to everyone who asks: “how are you” … after a month you will have no friends left. Most “friends” don’t want dark stories, they just ask out of politeness. So, you give them a polite reply with a smile.
Initially, they do give honest answers, but as soon as they see that people disappear from their lives… they unconsciously start acting… and with a bit of bad luck… you don’t see anything wrong with them anymore. Nothing.
So, there is (unfortunately) a big chance that people will end their lives without you realizing that something went wrong. Don’t blame yourself, don’t blame the victim. Blame the disease, but keep your eyes open. The signals are sometimes tiny and one-off… respond to them honestly and sincerely with lots of love and don’t let this opportunity pass you by. It may be the last chance.
And now that we’ve come to the end of this writing, we’ve learned a few things:
- A Christian in his right mind does not commit suicide. (because then he will understand what God says about it and what God has for a plan)
- Deliberately committing suicide is a sin.
- A Christian who is mentally ill… can become terminally ill. And die of it. Getting terminally ill is not a sin.
- God has given us professional(!) doctors, use them as long as you need them.
- If you see someone wearing the dark sunglasses, act. Now. They don’t see it themselves, hopefully you do.
- Yes, those people aren’t the happiest people to be arround, i know… but don’t run away from them, hang in there!
- Start the conversation, drink a lot of tea and, above all, listen.
- Keep your eyes and ears open, beware of the actors.
- Tell them that reality is different from what they see. Use the resemblance to the sunglasses.
- Get professional(!) help.
- You are not a professional doctor. Be the friend/girlfriend and don’t sit on two chairs. You are either the friend or a professional(!) counselor. Doing both at the same time… not a good idea. If you sit in the doctor’s chair, they may lose the friend they needed so badly…
- NEVER leave them alone. You could be the last friend they have got left. Yes, chances are they aren’t the happiest people right now, but there is hope. Hold on and switch that teapot on.
- Professional help is not your neighbor giving advice (with all good intentions). And not someone who has read a leaflet about it…. We see tremendous misery that has ensued on this side because of that…almost every day.
- Pray your socks off! Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Use medication if necessary. Temporarily or not, does not matter. Nothing wrong with that, as long as it is under professional supervision.
- Be real…. You can’t save anyone, only God can. And yes, sometimes people get terminally ill, and we lose the battle.
But most importantly:
God has a plan. Really! Whatever happens, He has a plan. Trust that.
What if you have lost a dear Christian to suicide?
Not the way you die (or have lived) determines whether you go to heaven or not, but your faith, by God’s grace determines that. And if you do, the following applies to you:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.Romans 8:1-2
And then I always think that the following happens at the gates of heaven:
Welcome, we weren’t expecting you yet, you’re early. Christ has forgiven all your sins… be welcome, the table is ready. Come in and eat with us.