A recent series of celebrity suicides have led to national discussions regarding life in general and what would drive a person to take their own.
Suicide rates in the USA have increased by 30% in the last 15 years. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans and 3rd among youths and young adults.
Social Media experts seem to blame drugs, mental health, and depression as the main reasons people end their own lives. According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
“Typically, suicide is described as an outcome of depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns, including substance use.”
Statistics show that 80% of suicide victims have alcohol and other drugs in their systems, over 75% had no know mental health issues, and that most suicide victims had high stress levels.
But those are just the symptoms. What is the root cause?
It seems that success and poor health don’t seem to play into the equation as Robin Williams (a famous actor), Kate Spade (a famous handbag designer), and Anthony Bourdain (a famous chef) all were rich, famous, and in good health.
It hit close to home for me when my nephew took his life last year. He was a very successful, Harvard educated, lawyer who had a beautiful young family (three children) and a budding legal profession. Yet, that didn’t prevent him from taking it upon himself to end his earthly career.
What my nephew lacked, and what all suicide victims lack is Hope, Faith, and Love!
Because we are human, the storms of life will most assuredly hit all of us. No one in immune. It’s how we handle these storms that is the key. We must turn outside ourselves for support from family, church, and a higher authority in order to get us through these adversities. We cannot handle them alone. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Bible lists three great virtues that we must possess. These are faith, hope, and love. These are essential to every human being, with love being the most critical.
First we must have hope in God’s promise of Eternal life. (Philippians 3: 9-11). The most important thing we can do in this lifetime is to insure where we will be spending the next. It’s all about Heaven and Righteousness. Because of our faith in Jesus, we are given His righteousness in exchange for our sins. This righteousness, in God the Father’s eyes, justifies us from His holy wrath and allows us to boldly enter His presence and receive eternal life. Our hope is for eternal rewards and an eternal existence with Jesus in Heaven for all eternity.
It is our faith that gives us the assurance of this hope. In Hebrews 11:1 it says, “to have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for (eternal life), to be certain of the things we cannot see.” Hope says “it will be mine in the future,” but faith says, “I will act as if I have already received it.”
The third of these principles is love. The reason hope doesn’t disappoint is because the love of God is given to us through His Holy Spirit. Also, your walk of love secures faith in your heart, for the Bible says faith works through love. (Galatians 5:6) We function with God through love.
Hope, faith, and love work in tandem with one another.
People take their own lives because they lack hope in an eternal future, lack faith in a forgiving God, and lack the acceptance of God’s (or a support groups) love and advice.
When we lack hope, we don’t see the purpose in life and ending it seems the right thing to do. When we lack faith, we don’t have the strength to rely on God to get us through life’s storms with His ability and not ours. When we lack love, we refuse to accept the love of others toward us and turn off self-love, believing that everyone will be better off with us.
Of course that is a lie that the devil wants us to believe.
The root cause of why people commit suicide is because they lack hope, faith, and love. The symptoms are an increase in drug use, mental disorders, depression and anxiety. Love one another as you would love yourself. And if you love yourself, you will not take it upon yourself to end it.