People in Evangelical Christian circles expressed heartbreak, shock and sadness at the recent news of the apparent suicide of Jarrid Wilson, a young pastor and advocate for mental health.
The suicide epidemic is real. Everyone from mental health experts to Christian leaders who know God’s Word forward and backward, seem perplexed as to what is accelerating this trend.
I will allow those wiser and more knowledgeable people to dissect the problem and suggest solutions. Contrary to Netflix damaging series “13 Reasons Why,” today I am offering 13 reasons why life is worth living.
13. We are not our own. If we live life as though it’s ours to use, we often will make destructive choices. If instead we live as though we belong to God, we are more apt to live wisely, with eternity in mind. Our lives are not our own (Rom. 12:1-2).
12. Your life is valuable. Growing up, the self-esteem movement told me how special I was. While I since have learned that I am not all that special, I learned an even greater truth: I am valuable (and so are you) because we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), and we each have inherent worth. Never forget that.
11. People need you. It’s easy to drift through life feeling like you have no purpose. We need to realize—whether we are ever told this or not—other people are counting on you. Other people need you.For example, I met a man named Dennis who had made some poor life choices. He felt worthless. God saved him. This man now has a wife, many children and grandchildren. Whether you are married or single, generations now and in the future need you to live out life fully and faithfully.
10. There is help. If you are feeling suicidal, don’t wait to ask for help. One expert on suicide said, “If you are struggling with depression, please call 1-800-273-TALK 24/7.”
9. There is hope. One of my biggest struggles in life is being a father. I am not the father I want to be. Yet I read a book title that was called “Hopeful parenting,” and I was reminded of the power of hope. In life, we can always cling to hope.
8. Persistence pays. In the most brilliant, but brief, commencement address of all time, Sir Winston Churchill said, “Never give up. Never, never.” That is the best possible advice, humanly speaking, on days we feel like giving up.
7. Problems are often temporary. I read an article by a woman whose own husband and son each committed suicide. This dear woman said, “Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary situation.” When we focus on our problems, our minds can play tricks on us and tell us things will never get better. Wisdom and life experience, though, show that problems are often temporary.
6. Suicide transfers your problems to others you love. Through reading this same article, it was clear to see that the problems that these men who took their own lives were overwhelming. Perhaps the men were trying to escape their problems by suicide. It only ended up transferring problems to other people.
5. Satan is lying to you. Jesus said, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” The blueprint of the devil is death. God’s plan is for life. (John 10:10). Today, choose not to believe Satan’s lies.
4. There is more to life than what you see. Right now, around the world, other people are struggling. Don’t fall into thinking those picture perfect Instagram moments that everyone else is posting means you are alone in your troubles. Others are struggling too.
3. God’s people love you. Christians do not always reflect the unconditional love of Jesus. In fact, we rarely do. But in God’s family, people outside the church and inside the church should know love. If you are a follower of Christ, today show others you love them, not by words only, but by actions.
2. God loves you. The Bible says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Let that truth sink in. Remind yourself of that daily, and remind others as well.
1. Jesus died so you could live. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16). Jesus came to give you life and eternal life. If we know that, believe that and trust Him, that truly would be the greatest reason why.