Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suicide is not the answer

The other morning a member of our family attempted to take their own life. They were so unhappy with their life that they felt it would be better to just die. There are always options and there is always a reason to live. We have to look for those reasons and ultimately we have to want to live.

Suicide is truly the most selfish, self centered thing anyone can do. While you might get out of whatever you’re in, you leave your family, friends and loved ones behind to deal with and clean up the mess you leave. Life is not better without you. Suicide is the cheats way out.

Life is about living. It is about making changes, sacrifices and yes at times it is tough, so tough that checking out seems like the only option. That’s where the logic fails. When life is tough, you  have to make tough decisions, you have to work harder than you have ever worked before and mostly importantly you have to choose to ignore your feelings and stick to what you know as a fact – God loves you even when it seems like no one else does!

Some would say that suicide is an unforgiveable sin, but I beg to differ. God says that He forgives all sins as long as we turn to Him, ask for forgiveness and accept this gift He offers us. I suppose one could say the only unforgiveable sin is turning your back on God, choosing to ignore Him. Even that in essence is forgivable when we simply ask for it.

Now I can hear some of you now, so that means I only need to ask for forgiveness and then I can go on doing whatever I like – nope sorry not that easy. To truly reconcile with God you need to make an honest effort to change your ways. You need to turn your back on your sin and move closer to Him, that is when forgiveness occurs. When you reconcile with God you are transformed into a new person, hence the born again phrase Christians seem to love so much. A phrase that has been used and abused for so long it no longer holds any special meaning.

Now I don’t know what happens when you die, but I do know that God transcends time and space. In my mind that means in the nanoseconds before actual death there is still an opportunity for us to accept God as our savior. God loves us so much that He pursues us to the very last moment. He gives us endless opportunities to accept Him. I believe that even those that succeed in taking their own life are given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and reconcile back to Him. If this is the case then we must forgive them as well. For me this is a bitter pill to sallow, but I’m working on it.

Suicide is nothing new to me. My mother attempted to take her life several times and I myself had my first thoughts of suicide at about the age 12 and have been plagued by idea as a solution to my problems. I could never have been so wrong. Thankfully I never attempted it and I managed to survive the temptations, but it is such an attractive solution when you feel like there is nowhere else to turn. Suicide is an easy way out because for you it is over, but for those of us left behind it is devastating. How would I have explained this to my children if this person they loved decided they weren’t worth the fight? How do I tell my children that no matter what life is worth living, when they had someone else decide it wasn’t? How do I teach them that we should always think of those around us, when this person chooses to think only of themselves?

Life is always worth it, even during the pain. No matter how great the pain, there are always things to be thankful for, always things that make you smile. Life is a gift, what we do with it is our choice. Don’t make the mistake of throwing it away like a piece of old trash, because to someone it is a precious gift to be loved and cherished.

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