Our Bible verse for today: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Suicide is not the answer”
This morning I want to return to the story we thought about two days ago of George Bailey, from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. George was a good man, a decent man, and he was simply doing his best to meet his responsibilities and to live an honorable life. He was loved and respected by those who knew him, and his life was making a subtle but significant difference for good in hundreds of ways.
But George didn’t see it that way. He saw himself as a failure and he somehow convinced himself that everyone would be better off if he was dead, so he decided to commit suicide. What’s really amazing about that story is that George wasn’t able to see himself as other people saw him. And while everyone else loved, admired, and respected him, he saw himself as a failure.
That’s very common. We are our own worst critics. And like George, we all have times of despair when thoughts of suicide enter our minds. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2018 approximately 9.8 million Americans had serious thoughts about suicide; 2.8 million made a plan to commit suicide; 1.3 million actually made the attempt; and 47,173 people did take their own lives.
But as was so beautifully portrayed in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, suicide is never God’s desire for us. We are precious to Him (1 John 3:1). He lovingly created us in our mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13-16); He has a great plan for each of our lives (Jer. 29:11); He watches over us every moment (Ps. 121:5-8); and it breaks His heart when we are suffering (Ps. 37:17-18).
As George Bailey learned in the movie, he was wrong in his belief that everyone would be better off if he was dead. And so are you. Your life matters. It matters to God and it matters to those who know you and love you. It has been said that when a person commits suicide they take their own pain, put it on the ones who love them the most, and multiply it by ten. I’m convinced that is true.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please know first of all that Psalm 34:17-18 is true – God hears your cries and He is near to you. Second, there is help. Call out to God and He will rescue you from the act and from the thoughts – He will provide help. Then call a friend, call a loved one, call your Pastor, or call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.
Your life matters. It matters more than you realize. It matters to God and it matters to all the rest of us too.