"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
This week, the world has been a-buzz over the recent death of comedian and actor, Robin Williams. Williams was found dead in his home Monday, where it was noted that he had committed suicide. There have been very many different remarks and responses to this beloved celebrity’s death, including support, as well as indifference. Whatever the reaction, we need to be careful how we express that to the public, and for one good reason: to save lives.
As noted within the article listed above, there has been a photo from Disney’s Aladdin circulating the internet, with the caption, “Genie, you’re free.” Though the idea of this is heartwarming and plays on our childhood, it is something that we need to be careful about. Many see suicide as an escape from pain, hurt, loneliness, depression. It is seen as a way to avoid all the earthly imperfections and move on. But, there is so much more than just one escape that we need to spread to others. As Christians, we can share the love of God with others, praying that we will be a light within the darkness. Suicidal thoughts are some of the darkest places of the mind, where Satan whispers lies, pushing us towards the end. But, God is an over-comer, and overcame Satan’s temptations when Jesus walked the earth. We need to also realize that depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are not something that can just be turned on and off, nor are they a sin. They are a result of mental diseases or disabilities, things that can be helped, obviously, but have backlashes. We need to realize that there are people hurting out there, and that sometimes being there for them is the only hope they have.
I have heard comments about being selfish for committing suicide, or not feeling pity for Robin Williams because of the circumstances of his death. I want to remind you that it is not selfish. In a dark room with no windows, doors, and walls closing in, sometimes that is the only thing we view as an escape. I read that it can be compared to a room with a window that is on fire. There is a means of escape through the window, but the fire has become the distract-er, and the window is forgotten. That’s what anxiety and depression feel like. You feel like you are being crushed by a weight that cannot be lifted. But, God can lift it.
What we need to remember as Christians as we approach thoughts like suicidal ones or hopelessness is that one: God loves you no matter where you are in life. Two: Suicide may be a way of escape to you, but it will cause a whirlwind of sorrow on earth (look at all the responses to Robin Williams). Three: You have made an impact in many lives, whether you see it or not. Maybe you held the door for someone and smiled at them as they walked through. Perhaps that person was having a horrid day, and was not sure they could have any hope anymore. By smiling at them and holding the door, you showed them that there are those who care. Four: So many care for you and love you. You have your family (biological, adopted, friends), your friends, your coworkers, your children, your pets, whoever. Five: God is not done with you yet. I do not believe that suicide is part of God’s plan. Instead, I believe that it is the lack of trust in God (something I struggle with daily), and that God has an incredible plan for every one of us. He is not done with you, nor is he done using you for His good!
I ask that before you voice a negative opinion or post a picture that is promoting (even if it is not intended to) suicide as a trend, that you rethink about the cause and effects. And, if you are struggling, seek help and know that so many are here to listen to you, help you, and pray for you, showing you encouragement.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11