As human beings, we may sometimes feel depressed and think that life isn’t worth living. The feeling of despair and hopelessness, or suffering from an incurable or very painful illness, can sometimes lead to the desire to end one’s life.
However, no matter how despondent you feel as a result of emotional trauma, mental anguish or physical discomfort, ending your own life is a sin. This is called suicide:
Definition of suicide: the act or an instance of killing oneself intentionally
Sometimes, when a loved one is in the throes of agony from a sickness without cure, we may feel it best to end their torment by facilitating their premature demise. This is known as euthanasia or assisted killing:
Definition of euthanasia: the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma
The Scriptures forbid murder or senseless killing (as opposed to self-defense or war), and suicide and euthanasia fall into this category.
The sixth commandment is:
“You shall not kill.” Exodus 20:13.
The Scriptures record several suicides:
Saul, Israel’s first king (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armour bearer (1 Samuel 31:5), Ahithophel, King David’s counselor, Zimri, King of Israel (1 Kings 16:15:20), Judas, one of Master Yahshua’s twelve disciples (Matthew 27:3-5).
There are many reasons why people choose to end their lives — financial ruin; loss of a spouse, friend, child or relative; a wrecked reputation; a terminal disease; job loss; incarceration, failure to achieve a certain goal, an uncontrollable addiction; rape; exposure of intimate photographs or videos; bullying; peer pressure; feelings of inadequacy; end of a relationship; divorce; loneliness; guilt; shame…
Whatever it may be, it is against Almighty Yahweh, the Living God’s decrees to make that decision. Our lives are not our own to take:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
If you take your own life, there is no hope for salvation and eternal life. The wages of sin are death — spiritual death that leads to an eternity in hell. Despite the agony you may be experiencing, the best thing to do is persevere, pray, and confide in someone you trust… there’s always someone willing to listen.
Don’t isolate yourself or spend hours thinking about whatever is troubling you. You will never find the light if you remain in darkness.
Don’t convince yourself that no one cares about you or your problems.
Keep busy and be optimistic.
Do things that make you feel happy, eat your favourite foods, go for a walk.
If you’re confined to bed, read a book, rest and yes, have a good cry once in a while, but don’t sink to the level of self-pity and self-loathing.
Let your friends and family know that you need company and comfort.
If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, let nature takes its course and hold on however painful it may get.
If you feel lonely, unwanted or unloved, remember that God loves you and wants the best for you.
If you have suddenly gone blind, deaf, lost a limb or been irreversibly scarred, remember that life goes on… you just have to adjust. Self-acceptance is the key to overcoming obstacles.
(see Where do we go when we die?, The Ten Commandments, The 12 Deadly Sins, The Great Deception and Wake Up! It’s 1984)