For families and friends left behind, suicide is a painful reality.
Frank Page pastored for 30 years and is a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention. He also suffered the deep pain and loss of a daughter taking her life. Frank’s shares lessons he learned from his personal loss.
“Death due to suicide takes on a different hue….It’s a choice, it’s a tragedy and it’s a sign of deep, deep angst.”
Recognizing our sin nature from a biblical perspective means understanding that we all need help. We all have sins, problems and struggles. Those who commit suicide or are thinking suicidal thoughts are no different. They are not worse than anybody else. They are struggling, just as we all do.
Too often the church is silent about this matter. Even when the church speaks about suicide, it’s not always helpful. Frank identifies two misconceptions in the church about suicide:
Misconception 1: If your faith is strong enough, you aren’t going to have any struggles in life.
In reality, Christ told us that we would have struggle in the world. We would be blessed when hardship came.
Misconception 2: If you commit suicide, you go to hell.
That’s not true at all. Frank emphasizes that such thoughts aren’t Scriptural at all. If we look at Scripture, especially Romans 8, we can see that nothing separates of from the love of God if we are in relationship with him.
Frank also says that suicidal thoughts and actions are the work of Satan, trying to destroy us. We need to constantly be filled with the Spirit and stay close to the Lord so we can watch out for Satan’s schemes. Arming ourselves for battle against Satan means putting on the spiritual armor of God, standing firm, praying always and studying scripture.
If a family member or friend is struggling it is our charge to gather around them and earnestly pray. We should provide a support group of people who will encourage and stay in touch with them.
This is the place for us to showcase God’s unconditional love.