I read an article today that called suicide “self murder”. Which I guess is what it is. I sadly write this post a few days after an acquaintance took his own life. I wearily write some of these things, knowing that friends and family have access to my blog, although I don’t think that they read it much. I have certainly battled bouts of depression and anxiety in my life. To say that I haven’t thought of suicide would be a lie, but I haven’t been so close to the idea as to even have thought about a method for it.
If we think of it as murder, then it’s obviously a sin. But so are lots of other things. I have a hard time in this day and age not grading things. Is it a big sin? Or a little sin? I have to work to realize that they are all the same to God. And taking a life (someone else’s or your own) is like rejecting God’s gift of life. Some say suicide can’t be forgiven, because the person cannot ask for forgiveness. But another reading pointed out that we all commit sins that we’re too blind to notice are sins and they go unrepented. And we die with those not being named or repented for, and as far as we know, go to Heaven. So I wonder if these types of sins actually determine our eternal destiny?
There are a couple of instances in the bible that tell of suicide: King Saul, Judas, Abimelech, Samson, Ahithophel, and Zimri. According to Lewis Smedes with Christianity Today, as far as he can tell, there is no explicit condemnation of these six people. I don’t want to support suicide, but I hope there is no condemnation. And I know I’m thinking that because of my friend. It is relatively easy for us to sit around and say, “I would never do that”. Another point by Smedes that hit home was, “These (ones who commit suicide) are not people sticking their fists in the face of God. These are [people] who look in their own faces and hate what they see”.
So, even if people that commit suicide do get to Heaven, what I need to work on is helping people avoid suicide, attempts at it, and depression in general. I feel strongly that my outlook on life and demeanor affects other people. If I can work on being a truly positive influence on people, then maybe just one person’s life will be slightly happier.