Christian Suicide, Part 2: Impulse, Not Faith

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Christian suicide is a choice of impulse, not faith

Now that it has been established that suicide is not a circumstance, but a choice, it follows that each individual who is mentally aware can choose to commit it or refrain from doing so. That is, we all have a choice. No matter how dark our situations, we don’t have to put the light out of our lives because of them. Circumstances don’t define us, it’s our tenacity to continue fighting that does.

As Christians, we have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, remembering His love for us. I believe that Christians contemplating suicide need to be reminded that God loves them, that He has good plans for their lives, and that Satan is the one that comes to “steal, kill, and to destroy,” as Jesus says — that Jesus comes to give them a more abundant life (John 10:7-10). So when we want to harm ourselves and commit suicide, it’s Satan that’s telling us to do it, not God. God, who is the Giver of Life, would never want us to take ourselves out before it’s over. Why would He plan our days if He wanted us to cut them off ahead of time?

God wants us to have an abundant life here. It is Satan that wants us to die, that seeks to kill us and destroy us. God is our friend, not our enemy. Satan is our enemy. And by taking our lives in our hands, we give him what he wants. And we violate God’s plan for our lives. If God plans our lives (planning is a deliberate action) and we throw in the towel before it’s all over, we’re fighting against the plan of God and are simply committing an act of impulse. Let me show you why that is the case.

What isn’t planning is impulse

Think about it. If you plan to buy new furniture for your house, but then see a car you really want and purchase it instead, you’ve just made an impulsive buy. If you took the time to think before buying the car, you’d realize that you probably needed the new furniture more. But when you do anything on impulse, you do it at a moment’s notice without thinking about it, without delay.

That’s how Satan works. He’s a snake-oil salesman who only wants to sell you an act of impulse. He wants you to do things without deliberation and planning because, when people act on impulse, they do something unusual and out-of-character that they’d otherwise not do. Think about some of your impulsive and quick buys over the years that have left you with buyer’s remorse. It happens all the time.

Someone may say, “What about the person that leaves a suicide note, letter, blog post or social media post? Doesn’t that imply deliberation?” To some extent, yes. But still, the person who commits suicide, despite planning to take their lives, often does it because they believe there is no silver lining. There’s always a better day if we look for it.

In other words, they plan to act on impulse. Whether one plans to act on impulse or does something right away thoughtlessly, either way, it’s still impulse. Anything done before seeing God’s salvation in the life of the Christian is acting on impulse. Remember, Saul’s action to offer the sacrifice before Samuel’s arrival was impulse, not faith. If he believed God, he would have obeyed the prophet (1 Samuel 13:7-14). If we’re not moving on faith, we’re moving on impulse. Anything that’s not of God is impulse, not faith.

Satan wanted Jesus to commit suicide on impulse (Luke 4:9-12)

When we read Luke 4, we discover that Satan wanted Jesus to commit suicide, to “throw yourself down from here” (Luke 4:9, NKJV). Why did Satan want Jesus to throw Himself off the temple? To prove He was the Messiah.

But Jesus didn’t come to prove His Messiahship by dying by suicide to prove anything to Satan; rather, He came to prove His Messiahship by dying on a cross for the sins of the world, at Calvary. Had Jesus given in to impulse and committed suicide, the atonement for the world’s sins would have been lost, forever. No other sacrifice but the Lamb of God could suffice. So Satan, in essence, wanted Jesus to abort His salvific mission.

Some say that Satan sees what the Christian’s future is, and that’s why he often wants Christians to commit suicide. Whether that is the case, I cannot say. What I can say, however, is that Satan does know that God will come to the aid of His people, that, if we hold out and wait to see the salvation of the Lord in our lives, He will come to our rescue. He has not abandoned us, nor has He forsaken us, and He will rescue us out of our troubles if we learn to wait patiently for Him. And if we wait patiently for the Lord, He will strengthen our hearts and lift us up out of our discouragement so that we can then understand that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will comfort us. He will not leave us comfortless, Jesus says (John 16:5-7).

And so, if Satan can get believers to commit or complete suicide, he knows that we will never see the salvation of the Lord in our lives. Worse than that, we throw away God’s investment in us. What is that investment? Our souls.

The deliberation of Christian suicide

If Christian suicide is an impulsive choice, why are there elements of decison-making and deliberation? Well, because we all can choose to live on impulse rather than deliberation. We can choose to “go ahead” and do something out of the blue or think about a decision before we make it. And Christians who complete suicide (that is, complete the act of suicide, not just attempt it) do so because they’ve made a deliberate decision that there’s no way out of their situation except by death.

Think about all the decision-making that goes into the act of completing suicide. First, the person decides that he or she has to make a drastic decision because life is just hurting them. The individual enlarges their circumstances in their mind. Circumstances, as I’ve said before, move people to suicide, but suicide itself is not a circumstance. The individual has to also believe that, if they let someone in on what’s going on, if they confide in someone, no one will believe them.

In some cases, they may surmise that those they talk to won’t take them seriously or will think they’re crazy and in need of medication (or that they have some form of mental illness). This is what some call “the isolation factor.” They convince themselves that in this big world, though they are surrounded by friends and family and are deeply, dearly loved, they are truly alone.

Once the person decides that their circumstances are too high and too tough to face and that others will not believe them or can offer little help, hope, or comfort, they see death as the only way to escape.

So there is that impulsive decision to commit/complete suicide, but the impulse is a result of internal deliberation in heart and mind about the individual’s options. There are elements of impulse and deliberation in Christian suicide. This tells us that suicide, then, is not, as I’ve said in the previous post, a circumstance, but rather, a choice. It is the summation of all the decision-making of the person affected by their tragic or difficult circumstances. But what it shows is that Christian suicide is not a circumstance. It’s not something Christians find themselves in so much as it is a response to current circumstances.

Like Satan’s temptation to Jesus, Satan tempts Christians with suicide as though it is our only option. In these times, remember the words of the Psalm writer:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV)