What does The Bible say about suicide?

According to The CDC, in 2021- 48183 people died by suicide in The USA. That is 1 death every 11 minutes. That is a staggering amount! With so many people committing suicide, why is The Church not talking about this? People want to know what The Bible says about suicide and want to know how to face these very real and hard issues. I can’t promise that this post will solve the problem, but I will answer the Question: What does The Bible say about suicide?

Anytime I want to know What The Bible says about something, I do a simple word search in Bible Gateway or my Bible App. But this time, that search wasn’t helpful because The Bible does not explicitly address the topic of suicide, and it does not contain specific verses that directly discuss the act of taking one’s own life. 

Since we can’t look at the exact issue, does that mean The Lord doesn’t care about suicide or that Christians can’t have a Biblical view on this topic? 

The answer is NO to both of those questions. 

The Lord does care when His children are hurting and commit suicide or want to commit suicide. Not only that but as Christians, we can take Christian principles and apply them to the way we look at suicide. 

In today’s post, I will share 6 Biblical principles and teachings that are relevant when discussing suicide.

6 Biblical principles: What does the bible say about suicide?

1. Sanctity of Life:

The Bible emphasizes the sanctity of human life in 2 different ways. 

A) Life as a Divine Gift:

The Bible teaches that life is a precious gift from God. 

What does The Bible say about suicide?

These verses tell us the direct involvement of God in the formation of each person in the womb. 

By telling us that life is a gift given to us from God. This gift indicates the value of each individual. 

B) Created in the Image of God

So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. 

Genesis 1:27

This verse clearly tells us that all human beings are created in the image of God. This statement emphasizes the inherent value of every human being. 

The idea that humanity bears the image of God means that each individual possesses qualities like love, creativity, reason, and moral responsibility.

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2. A Commandment NOT to kill: 

In the book of Exodus, God delivered the Ten Commandments to the Israelites through Moses as a foundational guide for their moral and ethical conduct. 

Among these commandments, the sixth one stands out prominently:

You shall not murder.

Exodus 20:13

This verse is interpreted by many to mean that taking an innocent life, including our own, is morally wrong and that it’s our responsibility to preserve and protect life.

May Christians believe that our own life is also innocent and that suicide is not a good thing to do. 

This commandment demonstrates a deep respect for people’s lives and clearly says not to purposely harm or kill someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. 

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3. Hope and Healing: 

The Bible offers messages of hope, healing, and comfort to those who may be struggling with despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm. 

These messages of hope are particularly important in addressing the emotional and mental struggles that can lead to thoughts of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble

A) Seeking Help:

The Bible acknowledges the importance of seeking help when facing overwhelming challenges.

It encourages individuals to reach out to others, whether it be friends, family, or professionals, for support. The act of seeking help is seen as a courageous step toward healing and restoration.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

This verse acknowledges the emotional pain and distress that people can experience, describing them as “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit.”

It suggests that when individuals are going through difficult times or struggling emotionally, they don’t have to face it alone.

They can reach out to God, who is portrayed as being near and attentive to their pain. Seeking help, in this case, involves turning to God for comfort and solace.

The verse encourages believers to rely on their faith in God’s compassion and presence. It’s an affirmation that, even in times of trouble, they can place their trust in God’s love and care. This reliance on faith means believing that God is a source of strength and comfort.

The verse also suggests that turning to God is a natural response when facing emotional or spiritual turmoil. It implies that God is a refuge and a source of salvation for those who seek Him in times of distress. In doing so, individuals acknowledge their dependence on God’s grace and intervention.

B) Relying on faith

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

In these verses, Jesus extends a direct invitation to those who are weary and burdened, inviting them to “come” to Him.

This invitation is a clear demonstration of the need to seek help. Jesus acknowledges that life can be filled with weariness and burdens, and He encourages people to turn to Him for relief and rest.

These verses emphasize the act of turning to Jesus as a response to life’s struggles. It implies that by turning to Him, individuals place their trust in God’s provision and care.

The promise of finding rest for one’s soul underscores the idea that God is the ultimate source of comfort and healing in times of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 and Matthew 11:28-30 illustrate the biblical perspective on seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God in times of trouble. 

They emphasize that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous and faith-filled step. 

It also underscores the idea that faith in God’s presence and compassion can provide solace and that turning to God is a natural response when facing life’s challenges.

The Bible offers a message of hope and healing that is relevant and comforting to those facing despair, depression, or thoughts of self-harm, including those struggling with the idea of suicide.

It encourages seeking help, relying on faith, and turning to God and the community in times of trouble. These biblical principles emphasize the value of life, the importance of support, and the promise of restoration for those who are hurting.

What does The Bible say about suicide?

4. Redemption and Forgiveness: 

The Bible also offers a message of hope and redemption for those who may have done something wrong or who have faced despair. 

The Bible contains many stories of redemption and forgiveness that provide hope for individuals who may have faced despair or made mistakes, including those contemplating the idea of suicide. 

These stories emphasize the possibility of transformation through repentance and God’s boundless mercy.

A) King David’s Story:

One of the best examples in the Bible is the story of King David. David, described as a man after God’s own heart, made serious mistakes, including committing adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrating the death of her husband, Uriah.

His actions were morally wrong and caused him and the nation immense pain. However, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, David expressed deep remorse and sought God’s forgiveness with a repentant heart (2 Samuel 12:13).

God forgave him and continued to use him in significant ways. This story illustrates that even those who have committed serious sins and mistakes can find forgiveness and renewal through genuine repentance.

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B) The Prodigal Son:

In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a young man squanders his inheritance and finds himself in a state of destitution and despair.

When he returns to his father, he expects to be rejected. Instead, he is welcomed with open arms.

This parable teaches us That God is like that father, watching and waiting for our return.  It also shows us that God’s love and forgiveness are available to those who turn back to Him, no matter how far they may have strayed, or how many sins they have committed.

C) Paul’s Transformation:

The apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul persecuted early Christians before his conversion.

His transformation into one of Christianity’s greatest evangelists demonstrates the power of God’s grace and the potential for radical change.

Paul’s story illustrates that individuals who have engaged in harmful actions can experience a complete turnaround through faith in Christ.

These accounts demonstrate that while people may make mistakes and face despair, there is hope for redemption and forgiveness through genuine repentance and faith. 

They teach us the principle that God’s love and mercy are not limited by our past actions and that a sincere desire to change and seek God’s forgiveness can lead to transformation and a renewed sense of purpose.

For those struggling with thoughts of suicide, these stories offer hope. That even in the darkest moments, there is the possibility of healing and redemption. 

They encourage individuals to turn to God, seek help, and recognize that their past does not define their future. 

5. Love & Compassion: 

Christianity places a strong emphasis on love, compassion, and support for individuals who are experiencing emotional pain, suffering, or despair, including those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

These principles are rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the broader biblical message.

  • Matthew 22:39 – Love Your Neighbor: In response to a question about the greatest commandment, Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. This teaching extends to caring for the well-being of others, including those who may be suffering emotionally or spiritually.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 – The Parable of the Sheep and Goats: In this parable, Jesus illustrates the concept of neighbourly love by emphasizing acts of compassion and service to those in need. He identifies acts of kindness, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned, as expressions of love toward Him. This teaching reinforces the idea that Christians are called to care for the vulnerable and extend compassion to those who are suffering.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus’ actions align with his teachings on compassion. He healed the sick, comforted the sorrowful, and showed kindness to those who were marginalized or outcasts.

His ministry exemplified the principle of reaching out to those in emotional pain and despair, offering hope and healing.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these Christian principles emphasize the importance of a supportive and compassionate community. 

Christians are encouraged to extend a helping hand, listen non-judgmentally, and provide emotional support to individuals facing emotional struggles. The teachings of Jesus promote a culture of love and compassion, reinforcing the idea that each person is valuable and worthy of care and assistance.

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6. Support and Community: 

The Bible provides a profound perspective on the importance of support and community, which is highly relevant in the context of individuals facing emotional distress, including those contemplating suicide. 

This biblical principle emphasizes the role of faith communities and support networks in providing strength, solace, and healing.

A) Carry each other’s burdens

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

This verse encourages us to bear one another’s burdens. This verse highlights the importance of empathy and support within the Christian community.

It suggests that Christians are called to walk alongside one another, offering a helping hand and a listening ear to those who are burdened by emotional pain or difficulties.

It suggests that when individuals are burdened by emotional pain, suffering, or despair, their fellow believers should come alongside them, offering assistance, empathy, and care.

This mutual support is an expression of the love and compassion that Christians are called to embody.

B) Confess your sins to each other

James 5:16  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This verse instructs believers to “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

This verse highlights the importance of openness and vulnerability within the faith community.

It encourages individuals to share their struggles, including emotional distress, with trusted members of their community.

Through confession and prayer, believers can find emotional and spiritual healing, knowing that they are not alone in their challenges.

Biblical Examples of Supportive Community:

A) Job’s “Support “Friends”

In the Old Testament, we see examples of individuals finding solace and strength through their faith communities. Job, who endured great suffering, had friends who initially offered comfort (Job 2:11-13). However, the story also highlights the importance of compassionate and supportive companionship during times of distress.

B) Christian Community

In the New Testament, the early Christian community in Acts 2:42-47 exemplifies a model of mutual support, fellowship, and caring for one another’s needs. This sense of unity and shared concern fostered a supportive environment for those facing challenges.

In the context of thoughts of suicide, these biblical principles emphasize the value of reaching out to one’s faith community and support networks. 

Christians are encouraged not to bear their emotional burdens alone but to seek help, understanding, and prayer from their fellow believers. 

This community approach creates a sense of belonging and care, providing people with the strength and encouragement they need during difficult times. 

In a perfect Christian church, we would show compassion and be a supportive Christian community that strengthens the well-being of each member, particularly when they are facing emotional distress or despair.

Conclusion: 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please seek help from mental health professionals, counsellors, or support networks. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). This free and confidential hotline is available 24/7 and connects you with trained crisis counsellors who can provide support and resources.
  • Crisis Text Line (U.S.): Text HELLO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Trained crisis counsellors are available via text message to provide support and assistance.
  • Local Crisis Hotlines: Many communities have local crisis hotlines or mental health crisis services. Look for local resources in your area, as they can provide immediate assistance and referrals to local mental health professionals.
  • Emergency Services: If you believe someone is in immediate danger or has harmed themselves, call 911 or your local emergency number. Emergency responders can provide immediate assistance.
  • Mental Health Professionals: Seek help from mental health professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, or psychiatrists. They can provide therapy and treatment for individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts.

While the Bible does not directly address suicide, its teachings promote a profound respect for human life and a call to care for the well-being of one another, particularly during moments of despair or crisis.

It is important for individuals and communities to address the complex issue of suicide with understanding and empathy while seeking appropriate professional assistance when necessary.

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