Teen suicide is a major problem today, particularly in the United States. It is the second biggest killer of teens and young adults behind accidents, and most of those are traffic accidents. In California there were 472 teen suicides in 2015, 371 of them were males and 101 of them were females. Hispanics accounted for 186, whites suicides totaled 181, 53 were Pacific Islanders and 25 were blacks. And that’s just one state. That’s too many suicides of young people who had great potential in life, but mistakenly threw everything away forever. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Problems in this world can be fixed or dealt with. That’s not true in the Spirit world where we go after death. That will either be tremendously wonderful; or horrific, and the individual makes that choice him or herself. Most people who commit suicide really don’t want to kill themselves: They just want to stop the pain. But non-Christians who kill themselves just go from bad to infinitely worse. More about that later.
This blog is for those who are considering suicide, and also for those people who want to help them. Twenty-six percent of ninth-grade girls are now considering suicide, along with 11 percent of the boys. So if you know 10 girls in ninth grade, two or three of them are thinking about killing themselves. Among eleventh graders, 22.4 percent of the girls and 13.3 percent of the boys are considering suicide to stop their suffering. The reasons vary. Feelings of hopelessness is a main contributor to suicides among young people. This can come from not having a sense of place in the world, or not understanding their value as human beings. Bullying by other teens is a major contributor to suicide deaths. This can be either in person, face to face, or bullying on social media like Twitter or Facebook. Let’s address some of these issues and give some hope to those considering killing themselves.
Bullying: Bullying is another person’s problem, not yours. A bully is projecting his or her problems onto someone else, maybe you. Their bullying doesn’t say anything about you except they wish they were more like you, or they perceive you as a threat to their way of coping with the world. It really doesn’t have anything to do with you other than they think you’re a better person than they are, and they want to make themselves feel better by bringing you down. Don’t let them do this. Look at it this way: A boat doesn’t sink because of the water around it. It sinks because of the water that gets into it. To keep water out is to keep the boat from sinking. So keep the bully’s negativity and hatred out of your life. It’s not yours, so reject it. Don’t let it in. Other people know you and know what the bully is saying isn’t true. Bullies are just belittling themselves. I know, this is hard to do. It isn’t easy to reject what another is saying, but you can do it. Report bullying to your school, your parents, or to police. Many states and communities have antibullying laws. There is help to stop the bullying. A list of resources is at the bottom of this blog.
No place in this world: Many young people suffer because they feel that they don’t have a place in today’s society, and that causes them to feel they don’t have any value as a person. If you feel this way, it’s not true. You are valued, and everyone has a place in this world. It’s more than likely that you feel out of place because you reject the world views espoused by the majority of people in today’ society. This means that your are a more valuable person than they are, and smarter. You can see through all the nonsense and know the current culture is not the true one. A problem came up, though because you don’t know where to go from here. Not believing in the normal status has left you without a foundation. Jesus is the rock of your foundation. You’ve heard this before in one form or another, but it’s true. The Bible contains the only world view that works, the only foundation for life that consistently works for everyone if they accept it and follow its teachings. I strongly suggest that if you’re feeling out of place that you find a solid, Bible-teaching church and start attending, and speak to the pastor privately about your concerns and feelings. Don’t pick one of the liberal churches that are so popular these days. They’re just trying to flow down stream without effort, and attract people by telling them what they want to hear. No answers can be found in these churches for true seekers.
Feeling unvalued: Everyone has value. God so loved you that He gave the life of His only begotten Son on the cross so that you may have eternal life, and not suffer for eternity in hell. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me”. God loves you, and He has a place in this world, as well as the next, for you. It is distinctly your place. Nobody else can do what God has planned for you to do since before the foundation of the world. you are important to God, and you are important to other people, many of whom don’t even know you yet. You’ll be directed to them in the future.
Stopping the pain: Most people who commit suicide don’t really want to end their lives, they just want to stop the pain. They just don’t see any other option than suicide. Here is the crucial point you may not have considered if you’re considering suicide: Suicide does not stop the pain. It makes it infinitely worse for eternity. Killing your physical body doesn’t lead to oblivion, it sends you to the spirit world. If you’re not a Christian, dying for any reason sends you to hell for eternity. There is no end to suffering there, and the suffering is infinitely worse than anything you could possible experience in this world. All the worst people that ever lived are there. Hitler is there, The terrorists that have died committing atrocities in this world are there. Mass murders are there, and Satan and his demons will be there forever also. Suicide just makes things worse, not better.
Eternity is a hard concept to understand, since everything in this world has a beginning and an end. So let’s compare eternity to what we can understand. Space is huge. Stars that we can see with our eyes are over 350 million light years away. A light year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 5,878,000,000,000 miles a year for 350 million years. That means the star light you will see tonight left those stars 350 million years ago, traveled through space for all those centuries, and hits your eye tonight. You will be seeing that star not as it will be tonight, but as it was millions of years ago when the light left the star. You’ll be actually looking back into ancient history, millions of years in the past. that’s something like having a time machine where you experience the distant past now. And, the universe is always expanding. It’s exploding outward, so the star isn’t where you see it tonight because it’s had millions of years to move away. you’ll be looking at where the star was all that time ago. It’s not there tonight.
Now, let’s go the other direction, to smaller. Physical matter is made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which in turn are made up of even smaller particles called proton, electrons and neutrons. Most likely you already know this. Below these particles are the subatomic particles and smaller ones scientists can’t even see or detect with the most powerful electron microscopes. They know they exist by the way the larger particles react to them, but scientists have never seen them. Comparing these miniscule particles to the vastness of the universe, we can draw the comparison that these extremely small particles represent all the time that has passed since God created the universe, since He brought matter into existence billions of years ago. And every second the relationship between these particles and the universe changes because space is constantly expanding and will continue to expand forever. Killing your body is probably unfair to it, because it most likely isn’t the source of your pain. Killing your body just sends you to hell with Hitler, bullies, terrorists, all the people you despise and Satan and his demons. And hell is a place of fire and torment. Committing suicide is simply jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It only makes things a lot worse for you-forever. There is no escape from eternity. Imagine the horror of hurtling out into eternity terrified in not having accepted Jesus as your Savior, and knowing there are no second chances.
Now, consider how wonderful it would be to leave this world behind- at the time appointed by God- and finding yourself in heaven with God and His angles. Jesus has gone before to prepare a place for you, so that where He has gone, you may go also. In the Father’s house are many dwelling places. If you accept Christ as your Savior one of those places is yours forever, without end. All earthly problems will be gone. Meanwhile, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will help you through, not around, your problems here on earth. On earth you will have problems, but be of good cheer, Christ has overcome the world, and through Him you will overcome the world. I’ve paraphrased C. S. Lewis on this before, and will again for new readers. Not accepting Christ as your Savior and continuing in a worldly lifestyle is like a child who chooses to continue making mud pies because she has no concept of how wonderful a day at Disneyland would be. Unsaved persons cannot understand how wonderful living for Christ is until they are truly saved. And, this is in spite of earthly problems. Your problems can be overcome. You can work through them to the other side, a better, brighter side that lasts for eternity!
Working through problems isn’t easy. I know that because I’ve come through some humdingers in my life. And I’m not through having troubles. Neither is anyone else. All things are possible with God, and with His help, all things are possible for you. Here’s the key: God uses people to do His work on earth with His guidance and support. That is what Christian pastors and counsellors are for. If you’re considering suicide, call somebody now! Don’t wait.
If you are not considering suicide, here are some of the warning signs that someone you know may be considering killing there self: Feelings of hopelessness about the future; actions that are different from the person’s past routine; changes in behavior, or worrisome behavior; stressful situations, especially involving loss; personal humiliation through bullies or for other reasons; trouble with the law or at home. All of these things are triggers, especially if there are more than one of them in someone’s life. Here are a few resources that can help prevent suicides.
Youth Suicide Prevention: www.sptusa.org
Once a Soldier: www.onceasoldier.org
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org / 1 (800) 273-8255
There are more. I will verify resources and post them next week. I will also address the problem of Christians who are contemplating suicide for a number of reasons. So, be sure to read next week’s blog. I’ll be expecting you.