I read that Steve Jobs' last words were, "Oh, wow. Oh, wow!" Makes you wonder.
Some die tragically, some heroically. But Robin Williams' death will never be thought of in positive terms. He chose to cast a dark shadow over it. However, he is being hailed beloved, talented and even genius. One person said, "As funny as he was, he's truly one of the all-time greats, he was even better as a person. He was even more fantastic. One of the loveliest, sweetest, kindest guys I've ever worked with. ... It's a major, major loss for everybody."
Those are all very nice things to say about anyone.
But on August 11th, he added one trait that no one seems to be willing to admit to: murderer. Suicide is self murder. Premeditated, ugly, horrifying, merciless murder. And it's a serious sin. Everyone instinctively knows this. Yet those who take their own lives are typically given sympathy.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
There are so many other ways that a suffering person can utilize the life they've been given. Taking it is a flamboyant, permanent act of tantrum. Famous people have it more difficult because many of the alternatives to self-murder would undoubtedly put a major dent in their pride. But to some, apparently a dent in their pride is worse than death. A staggering thought.
So here are my thoughts...
When a person kills themselves, we think that the motive is usually some form of self-loathing, depression, severe anxiety, inability to cope with the stresses in their life, etc. Sometimes drugs, alcohol or pharmaceuticals are usually involved. Sometimes there is a mental or hormonal imbalance. In some instances, demonic influences.
But if we brush away these circumstances and uncover the heart of the matter, what we will find is sin, guilt, self and pride. Depression, drug abuse and anxiety are merely symptoms of an over-inflated view of SELF.
Let's look at them one at a time:
Romans 3:21 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Sin is a deliberate act that crosses the conscience. (Conscience literally means with knowledge. Con = with. Science = knowledge.) So sin is a willful, intentional act of wrong doing. God holds each one accountable when they first sin with knowledge. James 1:14 - But every man is tempted [to sin], when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Which brings us to the next one:
Once sin enters, a person then lives in a continual state of guilt. They have sinned against God and they know it. Guilt is a powerful motivator. It has prompted every religion in the world. Christianity is not a religion, but rather is the gift of God. Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Guilt attempts to salve the conscience. But self-atonement is a futile act in self deception. And an abominable affront to God. (More on that in a minute.)
Old number one. Being selfish is very "natural" but it is not Godly. Selfishness always gives way to sin. There is nothing that will kill a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.
2 Timothy 3:2-4 - For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...
Proverbs 29:23 - A man's pride shall bring him low...We were formed by the hands of God, given his breath of life and sin the first chance we get. We are debtors to whomever we obey. When we sin, we become the "legal" property of Satan, the Prince of this world. But God loved us SO much that he paid our ransom with the highest price he could pay — the shed blood and death of his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. With this in mind, what can any of us possibly have anything to boast about? Absolutely nothing about ourselves. I can only boast of Christ and his shed blood for me. Pride is the mask of one's faults.
So what is a depressed, troubled, seething person to do when faced with the temptation to commit self-murder?
First of all, they need to repent toward God for salvation. That is number one. There is no hope in this life or the one to come without the cleansing blood of Christ covering you. For those covered in the blood, this earth is the only hell they will ever know. For those who die without receiving the precious sacrifice of Christ, this earth is the only heaven they will ever know.
Secondly, they should make some changes in their lives. Suicide is never the answer!
I thought of ten alternatives to suicide. Chime in the comment section below if you have anymore to add.
- Give up your life. And I don't mean end it. I mean give it. Spend it on someone other than yourself. Make it your mission to help someone else, even if it's just one person, achieve all their hopes and dreams. Give it away.
- Join the U.S. Military. Fight for your country. Go to the front lines. At least if you're killed, it's in the line of duty and not at your own hand.
- Become a missionary. If you don't value living your life for yourself, pour it out for others. Let God spend you like a coin in his pocket.
- Move. To a different state, or a different country. Changing where you live brings new scenery, culture and experiences along with a whole new perspective.
- Change occupations. If a job is causing loads of stress, trouble or trauma, change it. No matter how hard you've worked to arrive where you are, give it up. Better to be a happy janitor than a tormented physician, athlete, movie star, politician, etc.
- Downsize. This is especially pertinent for the wealthy who are in financial crisis. Sell your expensive house, car, etc. Start a clean life.
- Volunteer. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, etc.
- Join the foreign legion. I know nothing about the foreign legion, but it's old school. It's what people did back in the day when they had no other ideas for utilizing their lives.
- Fly to Iraq. Find a way to help the refugees who fled from being forced into an Islamic state.
- Become a spy. CIA, FBI, etc. I don't know if they'll take just anyone. But someone who is at the end of their rope might prove a useful tool.
You get the idea. The point is, quit living for yourself. Find a better life. Make your life better. Join a better cause than Planet You. For someone rich and famous, doing any of these things would require them to give up their pride. That would be totally unfamiliar territory. No telethons and charity drives here. Just total and utter abandonment of their fame and fortune traded in for peace and usefulness.
But death is final. There is no going back. And it's not our responsibility to call the shots of when it is to be over. When an unrepentant sinner dies, the world grieves the loss of its own. But when a blood bought saint dies, heaven rejoices at the welcoming of another citizen.
The two worlds are starkly different. They don't blend - even slightly. It is an all or nothing fight with evil principalities and powers of darkness against the Kingdom of God. Every breath we take is a chance to choose life. Surrender ourselves to the cross of Christ and his crucifixion. But the exchange is indescribable. Life eternal with the everlasting God. His love for us is greater than we could ever imagine. He loved us so much, he became one of us, so he could save us. Wow. Just WOW.