What Does The Bible Say About Suicide Kjv

It is well known that suicide is a subject that is spoken of very little in religious circles, yet it is something that can affect people both directly and indirectly. The Bible certainly has something to say about suicide and in this article we will look closer at the Bible’s stance on this complex issue.

The King James Version of the Bible describes suicides as “self-murderers” and, as with all sin, God prohibits it. To understand more deeply what the Bible is saying about suicide, it is important to distinguish between “committed” and “uncommitted” suicide. “Committed” suicide is the intentional taking of one’s own life, and “uncommitted” suicide is the unintentional taking of one’s own life as a result of accident, or perhaps through highly unfortunate circumstances.

The Bible denounces committed suicide in many passages of scripture, and it is written that those who take their own life are accountable and responsible for their own actions. Exodus 20:13 clearly states, “Thou shalt not kill” meaning that even the taking of one’s own life goes against God’s law and is a sin. The Bible goes on to explain that life and death belong to God alone and it is His right and His alone to give life and take it away – contradicting this right is seen to be a sin.

In view of uncommitted suicide, the Bible speaks of this as an accident and therefore not something that is punishable in terms of sin. Although such a situation may not give people full closure and understanding of the events surrounding them taking their own life, the Bible does not condone anyone holding the dead person accountable for something which was out of their control.

Whilst the Bible does not condone taking one’s own life, it does recognise and acknowledge the distress which can be felt by those who are facing overwhelming or intolerable life events or depressed mood and struggling emotions – such as loneliness, loss or financial problems. The Bible speaks to these people and offers comfort and guidance, suggesting and encouraging them to rely on God and live by His laws, believing and trusting in Him.

From a spiritual perspective, suicide itself is not seen as something that immediately separates us from God, as He is a God of mercy and grace and ultimately forgives those who ask and who truly repent. Psalms 51:17 states “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Understanding Suicide Prevention

Preventative measures can also be taken to help counteract the possibility of suicide occurring, both in individuals that are feeling vulnerable and distressed but are not yet in a place where they are feeling suicidal or in those individuals who are already acutely suicidal.

Common prevention strategies include utilising support systems, such as family members, friends and official support services, utilising distraction methods such as focusing on hobbies and activities, addressing the problem proactively with trusted adults, and seeking professional help from a qualified counsellor or therapist.

In the instance of someone feeling acutely suicidal, it’s important that that person or people affected are made aware of the suicide prevention services available, as well as alternative options such as voluntary hospital admissions or crisis appointments that can be made. Ultimately, it is important to make sure that people in this situation know that they are not alone and there are people who can help them.

Christian Support Networks

Christian support networks are highly beneficial to those facing crisis and feelings of distress. Through Christian support hubs, individuals can connect with people who have similar beliefs and values to them, giving them a sense of community and companionship that is otherwise hard to come by. Additionally, through these networks of people, individuals have access to individuals and groups who can direct them to the appropriate support and counselling services, as per their preference of religious context.

Many churches also offer retreats and seminars focused on emotional wellbeing, such as anxiety and depression, as well as Biblical teachings in line with reducing emotional distress. These retreats give people an opportunity to be more in tune with their spiritual self, remove themselves from any difficult life events they are facing and in doing so, gain a greater admiration and understanding of God.

Spotting Warning Signs

As with any serious issue, it’s important to be aware of what warning signs and triggers to look out for in order to help those who may be feeling suicidal. Warning signs often include speaking about death, withdrawing from activities and people, expressing feelings of hopelessness, expressing feelings of anger or rage, displaying changes in appearance, or exhibiting reckless behaviour.

When these warning signs are seen or sensed, it is then important to communicate with the person and ensure the message is clear that someone is there for them, willing to talk, listen and fully support them in whatever their needs may be. Withholding judgement or giving advice, simply giving the person a safe space to talk, is an invaluable way to help someone who is struggling and even more so in times of crisis.

The Bible and Mental Health

The Bible not only talks about suicide in and of itself, but it also has much to say about mental health issues and how we should come alongside those facing these struggles. Matthew 11:28 states “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” God is conveying here that even in times of pain and suffering, He is there to take away our anxieties and offer us peace – if only we turn to Him.

Jesus speaks to us in scripture and offers us advice, solutions and solutions to help us in times of distress, focussing on topics such as facing fear, being content, putting God first and seeking His help. This demonstrates that mental health issues are a very real and recognisable problem in the eyes of God.

Providing Support and Encouragement

Providing emotional support for those who are feeling overwhelmed or those who have been affected by suicide or have lost a loved one to suicide can make all the difference. Even if this support is not given through professional channels, through trained counsellors or medical professionals, emotional support can still be provided in a more informal setting, given in a loving and thoughtful way that make those who are struggling feel seen and heard.

The Bible has specific instructions as to how to help those in need around us, such as comforting others (Isaiah 61:2) loving your neighbour (Galatians 5:14), and exhorting and encouraging others (Hebrews 3:13). Ultimately, these instructions remind us of the importance of trying to restore hope and bring light and love to those who feel as if their situation is insurmountable.

Healing from Trauma and Grief

Healing after a suicide is also an important topic to consider in line with Biblical principles. The Bible speaks about deep sorrow, for instance Psalms 34:18 states “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Mourning and grieving can be done in a constructive way, offering God’s comfort and understanding to those who have gone through a tragic event.

God’s promises provide us comforts, in the knowledge that He is faithful and will be there in good times and bad. He encourages us to seek Him in our times of need and encourages us to rely on Him but also not to forget Him in the good times. Furthermore, Psalms 121 states that, “I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from Jesus, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” This serves as a reminder that God is here, He is our help and salvation, no matter who we are or from where we have come from.

A Pathway to Hope

Grabbing hold of God’s promises for healing and faith can be a powerful way to start the healing process and have hope for the future. God not only desires to heal us of our physical and emotional pain but He also desires to bring life-change through all of our circumstances, no matter how hard they may be. Knowing and acknowledging this can, over time, help to restore us and put us back on the road of wellbeing, allowing us to progress and move forward from seemingly inescapable situations.

The Bible speaks to us with words of compassion and grace and helps us to understand that, although suicide is seen as a sinful act, those who have committed suicide or have been affected by suicide are granted mercy and are loved and accepted by God.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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