By Alan Bailey
It's one of the most disturbing elements of modern life. Even people who seem to have good prospects and sympathetic relatives and friends nevertheless end their lives. The grief over a death seems to be worsened by the way it occurred.
The end of hope
As a rule, it isn't poverty and hardship that makes people take their own lives. All too often, it is those with good homes, safe environments and seemingly no reason to despair. But we know that depression hits all kinds of people for a range of reasons. But at the bottom, there is the loss of hope. Life is too hard to cope with and ending it is a way out. We are told that the depressed don't consider what their loved ones will feel; they are too occupied with their own thoughts. All so sad.
A more sinister kind
There are also cases where others are much in the minds of those who die. Recently, an 18-year-old boy from Melbourne went to the Middle East, strapped bombs to himself and killed innocent people. An all too frequent example of extreme fanaticism. Then there are those who have a grudge against someone close to them and feel that killing themselves will punish the one left to deal with it.
What to do?
Prevention surely means looking at the reasons and trying to deal with them. If someone has no strong sense of meaning and purpose in his or her life, terminating it is an option. How much is ever talked about or taught in our society about meaning? Many people believe that we are here by sheer accidents of evolution, that there is no ultimate purpose, and values are just what you want to make them. Until we change this, suicide will go on and perhaps increase.
We must open our eyes and see that we are amazing creations of God. There is meaning to our existence. We can live life to the glory and honour of God because He cares about us and, in love, provided a Saviour. There is a destiny of endless joy to be found and knowing Christ personally makes all the difference.
The best thing we can do for another person is to assure them of the love of God and His desire to bless us eternally.