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The Word on the Week

Suicide

Suicide is a man thing. Well not entirely but the numbers are weighted in favour of young males. The coroner in Co Offaly called it “rampant” after he had dealt with his fifth case this week. At St Patrick’s hospital in Dublin they recorded a 25% increase last year. The new type of person at risk is said to be the male driven entrepreneur who sees himself as a financial failure. But for many any attempt at analysis is trying to make sense of the senseless. The suicide note may give some clues as to the person’s frame of mind but frequently reveals misguided thinking arriving at the conclusion that death is better than life. The stigma may have lessened but it and its younger relative self harm are seldom spoken about. Just how can we create a culture of openness is the big question? So many try to preserve their “image” faking a lifestyle of having it all together when what they really need someone to speak to who they can trust. What does the Bible say? Suicide is sin. In no way does it ever glorify God. Instead it assumes the godly role of determining the end of life on earth. It is the ultimate expression of self-centredness and, unless the balance of the mind is disturbed, can never be justified. The evolutionary environment we are in sees humans as evolved animals rather than the pinnacle of creation. This equating of mankind with creatures lends itself to lowering our worth, which is infinite in God’s eyes, to that of say a well trained dog. As the playwright remarked “every dog has had its day” and then it is put down! The Bible says mankind was created in God’s image and though marred by the fall, has the potential, by God’s grace to reflect Him to others. There may be similarities in the way we have been created but we are not animals. We alone have consciousness, language, civilisation, literature – in fact dominion over the earth. Above all we have been created to be re-created, born to be re-born. We are here for a purpose thanks to Jesus death and resurrection. As St John recorded Jesus, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also” (Chapter 14 verse 19). Jesus Lordship straddles the grave, “To this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans chapter 14 Verse 9). Bill Gaither’s song captures something of the believer’s joy: – Because he lives, I can face tomorrow, Because he lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!