Suicidal Thoughts: 7 Biblical Tips

by Jack Wellman on December 13, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

What are signs that someone may commit suicide?  What are strong indicators that they may be serious?  What tips may we find from the Bible that can help people deal with suicidal thoughts?

Signs of Suicide

You would be surprised at the number of celebrities that have committed suicide or have contemplated it at least once.  It is normal for nearly everyone to go through times of deep depression – a dark night of the soul – but it is serious when a person stays there.  When deep, dark thoughts and ongoing depression are long lasting, this is a time to seek immediate help.  You or someone you know may be suffering from clinical depression which is treatable with medication and counseling.  Many times there is simply a brain chemical imbalance, brain irregularity, or brain damage that has caused deep depression resulting in thoughts of suicide. The good news is that it is treatable.  It is not a moral weakness or a character flaw but there is an actual cause for more deep depressions that cause a person to think about suicide.

There are several signs that indicate a person is at risk for committing suicide.  One of the signs is when someone tells another person and gives specific information on how they are going to do it. It is not a vague description of ending their life, it is precise and detailed.  When someone has a plan and gives out the plan and gives someone (by a note or otherwise) direct evidence of the ways that they are going to end their life, take it seriously because this is clearly a warning sign. If you are thinking this or know of someone that is and they are talking about specific methods that they are going to use or want to use, take this warning seriously.  Don’t put it off as just a passing mood that they’re going through and they’ll get through it.  How can you be sure?  If you don’t try to talk to and help someone that is sending you this message, this may reinforce the idea that no one cares and so why not end their life?  They may actually be trying to reach out for help in the only way that they know how – in quiet desperation – and you may be their only lifeline.  Take it seriously and tell them that you do.  The fact is that 90% of suicide victims suffer from clinical depression or a diagnosable mental health disorder which is treatable.

Other signs include:

  • a complete withdrawl from friends and family,
  • uncontrolled anger or rage,
  • a sense of futility, apathy, hopelessness, or helplessness,
  • rapid mood swings,
  • romanticizing the idea or thoughts of death or suicide or having a death wish,
  • having served in wars and been victims of or witnessed violence and death (like many veterans have),
  • having been frequently incarcerated,
  • keeping or having a fascination of firearms or other weapons,
  • having had or experienced family violence or have a family history of suicide and/or mental illness,
  • having had or experienced sexual abuse in their family,
  • have overwhelming debt,
  • are abusing controlled or prescription drugs &/or have excessive alcohol use,
  • quitting work or school or performing poorly at work or school,
  • sleeplessness.
  • Lack of interest in any activities like sports, parties, recreation, shame or guilt, writing out a will, and giving their valuables away.

The good news is that about 3 of every 4 people who are contemplating suicide give warning signs and most try to communicate these to someone they know.

Guilt Versus Conviction

Just about every person I know of and even those who are celebrities have gone through depression and yes, even entertained the idea of suicide.  I am no exception. There almost seem to be voices whispering to us that we are no good, that we don’t deserve to live, and we have no real value and so who would miss us?  What I have learned from experience is that there is a difference for Christians.  There are messages from the Enemy and messages from the Holy Spirit.   Here are the differences and how to know which message is from whom.

The Enemy always makes things seem hopeless.  He sends you signals that you are no good, you have no value, and you are not worth even occupying a human body.  You have no chance at success in this life.  There is no possible way that you’ll ever amount to anything.  There is no way that God would ever save someone like you.  You have no chance at making it to heaven and so why not just give up? You might as well do whatever you want because you’re not going to be saved anyway, so why not enjoy the sin while you are at it since you are not going to be going to heaven anyway?  The Enemy sends a deadly message that suicide will ease your pain and so why not end this misery right now?  There is a total condemnation in the Enemy’s messages.

The Holy Spirit on the other hand seems to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.  You would be better off not doing what you are doing.  He tries to stop you from doing something wrong even before you do it.  However, there is no condemnation, there is always hope, there is a conviction about something being wrong.  It is not a judgmental conviction but a conviction that it is best for your own good if you avoid doing something in particular.  And even when you do what you know to be wrong, you want to make it right with God.  You feel remorse and want to confess to God your sins and have all guilt removed.  Then, after confessing, you feel better and your fellowship is restored once again.

7 Biblical Tips for Preventing Suicide

Understand the Depths of God’s Love for You

Those who are contemplating suicide are crying out for help … don’t ignore them

God so loved you that He sent His only Son to die for you so that you could have eternal life and not have the wrath of God placed upon you (Rom 6:23, 3:23).  What we deserved, Jesus received (John 3:16).

Understand What God Thinks of You

God has daily thoughts of you that can not even be counted like the grains of the sand (Psalm 139:17-18) and has actually inscribed your name on the palms of His hands and your dwelling place [where you live] is always before His eyes (Isaiah 49:14).

Understand God Has Plans For You

God has plans for us too wonderful to even describe (Psalm 40:5) and these plans include His purpose to prosper us (Jer 29:11, Psalm 115:9).

Understand God Predestined You Before Your Birth

God not only predetermined to save you (Rom 8:30) but He chose you before the earth even existed to adopt you as His own son or daughter (Eph 1:5).

Understand That God Came to Rescue You and Die for You

God sent Jesus, the Son of God, to come and rescue you from death (John 3:16) and by no mere chance or accident He sought you out (Luke 19:10) and ransomed His own life to save yours (Mark 10:45).

Understand that God Choose You to Be Rulers in the Next World

It is shocking to many that not only did God come to die for us, to save us, but to make us kings and priests in the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Peter 2:9) and we will actually rule with Christ (2 Tim 2:12, Rom 8:17).

Understand that God Promises to Supply Every Need We Have

God has given His unbreakable word to supply every need we will ever have (Phil 4:19) and we will never, ever need to beg for anything, even our daily sustenance (Psalm 37:25, Isaiah 41:17).

Seek Immediate Professional Help

You have seen just how infinite God’s love is for you, so much so that He sent the One and only Son to die for you, that He will never leave you, never let you beg for bread, has thoughts of you each and every day, has plans for you that include ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ in the world to come, and that you are exceedingly precious to Him.  I pray that you will place your trust in Him for He cares for you and He cares what happens to you.  He never wishes you to come to any harm and if He could speak to you right now, and you or someone you know is suffering from a severe depression and contemplating suicide, He would want you to seek help.  Everyone needs help at one time or another.

As I said earlier, those who are contemplating suicide are crying out for help. Don’t ignore them or if it is you, don‘t ignore your feelings.  You are worth saving.  Ask for help or if you know someone who is talking about suicide, have them seek professional help at once.   There could be physical causes to your thoughts of suicide and these causes may well be treatable.  If you are considering this, call a highly regarded helpline at 1-800-suicide (800-874-2433).  Talk to someone. If you know of someone who has or is talking about suicide tell others, seek the help of others, call the helpline yourself to see what you can do to help.  I beg you to reconsider.  You or someone you know is just too precious to lose.

Looking for some more Christian advice and tips? Check out these articles:

Resources:

New International Version Bible (NIV)
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

YouTube video “Don’t Give Up” by Calling Glory



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Schneider December 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

This is the BEST article about depression I ever read, Pastor Jack. I was diagnosed at age 21 with bi-polar disorder. At age 18, I had a good job in Washington D.C., meeting new people, etc. Yet, nothing mattered. Even my faith in Jesus was awry. I attempted suicide by cutting my wrists. The miracle…the night before my Dad heard his deceased Mom telling him to go to Patty (me.) A half hour after I started, there was a knock on my door…my Dad, my step-Mom, and my big Sis. It was another half hour or so before I opened the door, embarrassed to high heaven, ashamed really. I got
patched up at Emergency, but nothing was said or done as to the reason I did this. (This was in the late 1960′s.) Dad
went home w/step-Mom & Sis after my Mom flew in to be with me. (Her local pharmacist gave her the money to fly in…
another miracle.) I felt so badly for Mom, she just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me.
It wasn’t until I had my first manic episode that I got some answers and was diagnosed.
Wish I could say it was all smooth sailing afterwards, Pastor Jack. Literally, YEARS were spent in depression. Trying medicines that didn’t do the job, counseling that only frustrated me so. Then, finally I was put on Depakote and
Effexor. Within 2 weeks, I was enjoying mental HEALTH for
the first time in my life. For 4 years I had this blessing. Then my beautiful Mom passed on in 2009, grief turned into one
very severe depression. That finally lifted about 3 months ago, thank dear God! I pray depression stays away long enough for me to straighten out some things in my life. It’s like starting over from scratch, Pastor Jack, when depression lifts. And the stupid guilt’s! Intellectually, I know better than to blame myself for time wasted during depressions. (My hubby, Gary, ‘scolds’ me whenever I do! A remarkable soul God has given me for a husband! I put him and our son, Chris, through he**. Yet, they continue to love me!)
So, next time depression hits, must remember the Enemy’s voice is doing its thing and try my darnest to re-read Scriptures and pray. Two things I find most difficult to do during depression. I do believe now and have for a lot of years, that Jesus is always holding onto me in his loving Arms. Pray for me, Pastor Jack. OK? And thanks for letting me share my story. God loves you, oodles! Patty

Reply

Jack Wellman December 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Patricia, wow, what a powerful testimony and your transparency is so refreshing and I believe it will help many who are struggling with this stronghold. I truly covet such women of faith like you who helping others thru their lives, their life story, and their prayers and example. God bless you. You have been such an overwhelming blessing to me personally and I thank God for you Patricia.

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Drucilla Llewellyn December 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Mr. Wellman I am a born again believer. I have a granddaughter hat just turned 12 in Aug. A little bit of background first. My daughter has had epilepsy since 1 yr. old. Her physician told her not to have children because the medication will go into the baby. She didn’t listen. My granddaughter has a disability now. One side of her body is bigger than the other, has a touch of scoliosis on her back, has a learning disability which is minor, has had a bad temper since she’s been young, resulting from the seizure medication. Her dad has Ashford and possibly??? bipolar. When she gets mad at her mom when she gets disciplined she talks about suicide. This is constant. Is getting counsel.????? What to do next. My daughter has rejected the Lord. She is always yelling at her. My granddaughter is Terri,my daughter Joanna. please don’t give out names when relying back. Use different names. Thank you. I have been praying about this for many years.

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Drucilla Llewellyn December 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Her dad has ADHD. Don’t give out names when you reply back. Thanks.

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Jack Wellman December 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I have changed the names in your comment and promise to keep this confidential for sure.

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Jack Wellman December 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hello Durcilla. I changed the names you gave me in your comment to keep their names private. I would say that only God can change the human heart (Prov 21:1) and we need to pray for her to place her trust in Christ for this is their only hope. We can do nothing else but trust in God but God is pleased when we pray for other’s salvation and this is what I will do for them both. Truly, this must be so hard for you. Know that God is still doing miracles today and the greatest miracle is a person becoming born again (John 3) and so let’s pray for that and trust and wait on God to work (Read Psalm 37).

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Drucilla Llewellyn December 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thank you so very much for replying back so quickly! I have been asking others to pray also. More out there reading this I’m sure will be praying also. May the Lord richly bless you as you help others for Jesus.

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Patricia Schneider December 16, 2012 at 2:58 am

This is for ‘Drucilla.’
NEVER stop praying for your daughter, for all your loved ones. I know for a fact that prayers work miracles! God has a plan for you and your daughter, so trust Him with all your heart. As for getting your grand-daughter counseling, perhaps you could talk it over with your own physician and see what he says. Or your minister? (A miracle stopped me from completing my suicide attempt. I’m Patricia Schneider in above comment column.) I’ll keep you and your family among my prayers. Be of good cheer, Drucilla! God loves you, oodles! Patty

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saldie December 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

..i know God are have so many purpose of our life become a man to live in earth..are just one save us and to love of God into a MAN TO crucify in blood..

..i agree this day, Jesus Christ is our LOrd to control of my life…i believe that Jesus Christ IS one father and he give as only Son of God to save and to pay the price of many sins..

..so..right now,I apply the blood of Jesus Christ upon him..

thank you..for your great heart and to accept my comment..

..God Bless and Merry Christmas!!!!..hehehe

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saldie balingasa December 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Whenever you are weary, speak God’s Word and your can become enlivened. Praise God, it does work! I often speak God’s Word to myself.

Why not to try it?one bite at a time?

Get in your mind, on your lips, into your heart and then your body will respond according to those Words that you have spoken.

Unfortunately, we live in an “instant” world and expect everything to happen immediately. it took time to get into a state of weakness and so it is going to take a while to get out of it. Be patience, and in due season you will be rewarded.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart..( Gal.6:9)

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Steve January 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Is suicide predestination? If my son lived his children would have changed the fabric of life (human relationships, jobs, housing, etc)
but, he didn’t! I wouldn’t be posting this now IF my father had been killed in WW2, AND, you wouldn’t be reading this, now. So, just as Hitler altered millions of lives, his premature death as a child would have allowed millions to LIVE! Perhaps it is most logical and probable that ALL our lives are predestined, and we have NO control over anything?! I spend thousands of hours studying and contemplating this ,and although I don’t like being regarded as a puppet, do I dare suggest an alternate “program” to the Almighty?! I think not!

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Steve January 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

An addendum to my previous post, from Steve, regarding predestination: God has the power to affect EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY; we do NOT; if we did we would be LIKE GOD.
Therefore, we THINK we have the “INFLUENCE” to affect change, we THINK our accomplishments are the result of our own determination and drive. BUT, they are not! We don’t (or shouldn’t) pride ourselves on our I.Q., or our physical attributes, and we DON’T plan our birth , lives , or death. Pride is not be one of our virtues, yet, how many parents are so PROUD of their childrens’ successes in life?!
We have much to learn, and accept; and we best start by learning about tolerance, as it is part of God’s “program”. Our ACTIONS determine ( or affect ) history; our thoughts don’t! But, God knows our thoughts, and although we may not affect the historical time-line, our thoughts probably determine our relationship with God, and our place in in the here/after.

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