"What spiritual ideas would you share with a friend contemplating suicide?"
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Christian Science Sentinel – April 27, 2007
This week’s participants offer the conviction that each of us is so loved by God that we can never be cut off from His goodness, even in the darkest moments of life. That’s a worthy, healing thought, and as you read the individual responses, you’ll find other healing themes, as well. For more on dealing with the temptation to commit suicide, listen to a recent spirituality.com live chat, "Feeling hopeless? Choose life!"
It would depend on the circumstances. (I might not say too much, but I’d try to listen for what God would give me to say.) However, I think I would focus on the fact that God loves my friend very much, no matter what, and I do, too, and that we don’t have to be afraid of living because God, good, can help us find our way up or out of wherever we seem to be that’s unhappy or sad or bad. If we seem to be at the bottom of problems, we can be still and wait. We can kneel down and pray. We can listen quietly for one good thought (an angel, if you will—“un angelito”) and be grateful for this one good thought or idea.
Sometimes we have to take baby steps in turning toward good, the light, toward life (or Life, God). But it’s worth it. And then we can take another step, and so on until we gain more on the side of good. Look for one light, one good thing, and be grateful for it. And we can thank God for sending us that one good thought. Where there is one, there are more, and each one helps to lift and guide us moment by moment. (And maybe that will help someone else someday that we turned toward the light and life and good and were grateful for it and let ourselves be led by it.)
Judith, Manchester, Connecticut, United States
I would tell the friend contemplating suicide that Life is God, therefore it’s eternal and good. There is no problem too great for God. God’s love and goodness can see her through any challenge. Second, I would also tell her that suicide can never be an answer to her problem, but she would wake up to realize that problems still continue. It’s best always to work out a solution with the intelligence that God gives us and that we are never alone but all-one with God.
Nergish, Andheri, Maharashtra, India
Despair is always temporary. The peace and joy that seem to be missing are really there. You must press on and mentally insist on revealing the all-powerful good in your life and, then, help others to do the same.
Rebecca, Maryland, United States
I would listen to my friend without judgment. Removing yourself from a seeming error, be it depression, glares from other people, relatives, gossip, former friends or companions, opinions, advice—no matter what it is—God is stronger than that. God doesn’t know that about you or the part you’re trying to kill off. I would prayerfully urge that loved one accept Christlikeness and never give up. Every moment we release death as an option we are closer to the Life we were promised prayerfully forever.
Maude, Michigan, United States
Death is not a way out of our problems. Mary Baker Eddy stated in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self” (p. 296). Suicide is not going to make things better—it will only add to the problem. We need to regenerate our thought, look in a different direction to find our source and a truer sense of our identity.
We can start with the Bible, Genesis, where it tells us that God made everything—and it was very good! God is our Father and Mother. God made them therefore they are good no matter what! God loves them because God created them out of Love. They are valuable, needed, and irreplaceable. They are the very image of Love. They have a great purpose and that is to love! And we certainly need more love in this world! It may seem difficult but I’ve found that if we want to feel loved and worthy we need to love. We can love because the source of our love is not human and limited; it has a divine source, God, who is infinite. Therefore, Love never stops loving and each one of us as the image of Love can’t be unloved.
Renee, Bend, Oregon, United States
I would very much want to persuade the person contemplating suicide that real rest, peace, and love can be found only in God and not in anything or anyone in the world; that God who is Love itself has never and can never cease to love him either here or hereafter. I would point out to him one of Paul’s most beautiful gems that affirms that absolutely nothing can separate him from Love and from Life: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:31–39).
Joseph, Nairobi, Kenya
I would remind the friend that there is always hope because all things are possible to God, so whatever is troubling my friend can be healed by divine Love.
Liz, Santa Cruz, California, United States
“… cling steadfastly to God and His idea …” (Science and Health, p. 495). You, as His perfect spiritual reflection, always express all of God’s perfect qualities. That is your identity, and your dearest purpose is to reflect His being.
Mary, Sequim, Washington, United States