Pastors love to talk about the good things. It’s those pesky little annoyances of bad things that are always troublesome at the pulpit. I’m speaking here of suicide.
There’s a reason it’s rarely talked about in church—it makes people uncomfortable. But when it comes to church, there’s nothing wrong with being a little uncomfortable.
In 2013, Newsweek ran a cover story declaring suicide to be an epidemic. The fact is people are depressed, and churches need to talk about it. I guarantee you if a sermon on suicide in any church is preached, there will be several in attendance who have either contemplated it, attempted it, or know someone close who has. It’s a big issue.
One of the problems people have with talking about it is the Bible is a little mum on the topic. There were a handful of Biblical suicides. Notably, Samson, King Saul, Ahithophel, Zimri, Abimelech, and Judas. But it only records them. It gives no record of it being a sin. Murder is a sin. And many who speak on the issue condemn because it’s murder of oneself.
But Romans 8:38-39 tells us that death cannot separate us from the love of God. Nothing, it says, can separate us from God’s love. So while suicide is wrong, there is evidence that those who engage in it are still saved.
My point here is not to give you permission for doing it. My point is it’s okay to talk about it. It’s okay because it’s a message people need to here. A lot of people would not even be in the depressed state they are in if the church was a little more open to talking about things like mental illness.
Being depressed doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you; it doesn’t mean there is no God; it doesn’t mean there is no hope.
And being a Christian does not mean your mental state is going to be pretty. It means you are going to be saved.
If you are depressed or experiencing suicidal thoughts, there is help. There are people who understand. There are people just like you.
You can call the free National Suicide Hotline anytime: 1 (800) 273-8255
You can also text the Crisis Text Line here: TEXT “GO” TO 741-741
The Crisis Text Line also has a resource page of several support groups from people who are dealing with everything from cutting to domestic violence. You can read more here.