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The Word on the Week

Suicide 2015

On Thursday this week we had World Suicide Prevention Day. On Friday the UK Parliament threw out the Assisted Dying Bill by a large majority.

Meanwhile in California the opposite happened. The State Legislature yesterday joined four other States in approving a bill which would allow terminally ill people end their own lives.

Here in Ireland it is a subject that demands our attention. Data released recently show that in the European Community we have the highest suicide rate for young women and the 2nd highest rate for young men.

There are things that promote suicide such as drink and drugs. They are more usually the symptoms of inner disquiet and despair than the reason.

The bottling up of problems adds to the difficulties in sharing anything but the more acceptable sins, whilst a dark cloud continues to shroud the big issues. These thrive by being kept secret and can end up so distorting ones thinking that the only “decent thing to do for everyone’s sake” is to suicide.

The frightful thing is that this distorted thinking seems so right to the person having these thoughts. It has been likened to a pilot flying in fog and unable to see the horizon or the ground but is convinced he is doing the right thing. He may have a very strong feeling that he is going up when he is going down. It is vital that he disregard his feelings and follow the instruments no matter how much they contradict his intuition.

Now the pilot is at an advantage as he has been trained to trust his instruments and, although the potential suicide may have been well brought up, even trained in the scriptures, the dominant feeling is that they know best. In fact the delusion is so powerful that it may have fatal results.

It is so vital to speak. Other cries for help may not be understood. Words make it plain.

What advice can we get from the Scriptures?

St James writes that healing comes when we confess our sins to one another (James Chapter 5 verse 16). Obviously you choose someone you can trust and is a good listener.

St Paul says to choose a Christian partner, never unbelievers (2 Corinthians Chapter 6 verse 14). Always, throughout scripture, where this rule was broken God’s people stopped following Him and ended up in a mess.

Jesus said “love your enemies” (St Luke Chapter 6 verse 27) – in other words go from thinking about yourself to thinking about others and their needs.

These are big asks – but we have a big God. The Psalmist said “In your light we see light” (Chapter 36 verse 9). He can dispel the darkness and let you see more clearly how much you are loved.

Jesus Said “I am the way the truth and the light” (St John Chapter 14 verse 6).

Cling to Him!