Depression and suicide

The recent suicide of Robin Williams has caused our nation to focus attention on this problem.  As a Christian I am afraid of people saying that Robin is at peace almost condoning the act.  People refer to him now making jokes with God and making him happy.  It is important to remember that the commandment "You shall not murder" also refers to not murdering self. I know the Bible points out that God is the judge.  Judgment on Robin is done by God, not by us.  I have been close to people who have committed suicide.  In fact, this has happened twice in my life.  I began to doubt myself and wonder if there was something I could have done differently.  It is an act that at times takes place in a split second, although many contemplate it a long time. Many even write suicide notes to explain their actions.

I am giving some passages that I believe establish life principles.  What do they say to you? 

Psalm 31: 5

Job 12: 12

Hebrews 12: 5-11

Romans 8: 28

I John 4: 8

Exodus 20: 13

Psalm 90: 10

 

Topic Discussion

Posted by Michael Peirce on
I wonder if these scriptures really pertain to Robin Williams' situation? They all seem to assume a man thinking rationally. From a anatomical / chemical perspective, he probably wasn't.

Recently Doctors and Scientists have determined that these conditions physically change how your brain does business. Almost as if one had ingested some drug or chemical that leads to misery.

I feel that it's honestly not clear if their actions are truly their own. How does this impact culpability for self murder (suicide)? I surely don't know.

Since I can't give a clear answer I'll pose another question on the topic - e.g. King Saul - '...hold out my sword that I may run upon it.' Suicide for honor? Suicide in combat? Some soldiers carry pistols - useless on the battlefield but useful in situations where they might be captured and tortured, or alternately, if they are wounded in some particularly horrible fashion.

I recently heard that a friend who'd been suffering with MS may have hastened his own demise. What should I think of that? I don't know what to do about that but pray.

I've assumed in both cases that the Lord might judge them on their faith despite that. Trouble is, I'm not finding scriptural support for that supposition.

I guess the bottom line is nobody should want their very last action on earth, the last thing they do before facing the judgment; to be a sin!
Posted by Pastor on
When God says we are standing in his grace (Romans), that gives me comfort. While it is true that I don't want to be doing a sin (although "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," it is nice to know that we continue to stand in God's grace even though I go on sinning everyday. A pastor whose son committed suicide compared the standing in God's grace to standing in a room. We might get closer to the door but we are still standing in the room. Just because I sin, doesn't mean that I don't have faith. I might get closer to the door but I am still in the room. The old self exists in me, but at the same time so does the new self that clings to God's grace. If I get into a car accident and my arm is torn off, I might say some less than Christian words but still believe in Jesus.
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