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Definition and Statistics

The term “suicide” derives from Latin roots, sui, “one’s self,” and caedere, “to kill.” It is defined as the killing of one’s self with malice aforethought, while in the possession of a sound mind.

Suicide is becoming an increasingly popular “escape from life” in America. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth—ages 15 through 24. Some authorities are reporting a number of suicides even among pre-teens.


U.S. Suicide Statistics (2001)

by Kevin Caruso

Emergency Room Visits

All suicides

Firearm Suicides

Suffocation Suicides

Poisoning Suicides

(Statistics from - )


Some Religious Views

  1. Nothing remains after death - This phenomenon is doubtless receiving considerable impetus from modern humanistic influences that have cheapened the value of human life, e.g., abortion, euthanasia, human experimentation, etc. In addition, the no-God ideology, hedonistic philosophy, and no-ultimate-Judgment concept unquestionably are contributors. Suicide is based upon the premise that self-murder will end all of one’s problems because, supposedly, there is nothing beyond death.

  2. Rewarded – Islam – For those who die while opposing the “enemies of Islam”, there will be special blessings in eternity. Jihad (holy war) often uses suicide bombers.

  3. Honorable – Hindu – According to psychiatrist Kenshiro Ohara, Japan’s leading authority on the subject, suicide is an evidence of sincerity. When a Japanese mother decides to commit suicide, she usually first kills her children. This deed elicits praise since children are considered parts of their parents, and to leave them motherless would be cruel (The New York Times, April 30, 1973, p. 10).

  4. Reincarnation – New Age Movement - The notion that one, after death, may return to this life in a new existence wherein he can “try again” to achieve happiness, is a misconception of enormous magnitude. The idea that one can find pardon, and then happiness, in the post-death world is popular among the New Age Movement. After death, judgment follows (Hebrews 9:27).

Assisted suicide

  1. Assisted suicide...This is not really suicide, but just a politically correct term for Euthanasia.

    1. In 2 Samuel 1, David deals with a man who claimed to have assisted Saul in suicide.

    2. Notice specifically 2 Samuel 1:10

    3. Yet what was David's righteous response?

  2. The truth is that death is not supposed to be something that mankind in general ought to desire.

    1. It is supposed to be scary, foreboding, and frightening in order to motivate us to live righteously.

    2. Suicide ought to scare our socks off because it is a one-way ticket to hell.

  3. Let us learn to respect the life that God gives.


7 Suicides in the Bible



Judges 9:52-54

Abimelech lacked personal identity.


Judges 16:25-30

Samson died for a cause he believed in and for revenge.


1 Samuel 31:4

Saul was stressed out, unable to live up to certain expectations; felt rejected and a failure

Saul's armor-bearer

1 Samuel 31:5

Impulse, he wanted to die with his boss. 40% of teenage suicide is impulse.


2 Samuel 17:23

Ahithophel was bitter because his advice was not followed.


1 Kings 16:15-20

Rebellion; Zimri had a problem with authority.


Matthew 27:3-5

Depressed, Judas felt trapped by materialism and guilt.


Biblical Principles

  1. God has a great plan for your life. God has created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). He created us for a purpose. God has a specific plan in mind for everyone. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

  2. God's plan is for life, not death. The Bible teaches that both physical and spiritual death are the result of our sin and disobedience to God, but eternal life is a gift to those who receive it. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

  3. Jesus taught that death and destruction are the work of “the thief” (Satan). He said, The thief comes only to steal and destroy (John 10:10). John 8:44 says that Satan is a “murderer” and the “father of lies.” The feelings of despair that lead to suicide are caused by some of his lies.

  4. Jesus wants us to have life. He said: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).

  5. Life belongs to God. It is never our place to take our own life or someone else's life. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).


Understand Crisis

Crisis is caused by one or more of three things absent or not working correctly in our lives.

  1. Coping mechanism

    1. How do you normally handle situations like this?

    2. Has anything like this happened before?

    3. What did you do that worked or helped?

  2. Support network

    1. Who do you rely on for help and support?

    2. Why can't you depend on them at this time?

    3. Do you have a back up, secondary level of support to call on?

  3. Realistic view of situation

    1. Do you clearly understand what is happening?

    2. Are you in Denial – too optimistic about the situation?

    3. Are you feeling Doom – too pessimistic about the outcome?

  4. THEREFORE: If one or more of these factors is present:

    1. If our view of the situation we are facing is not based in reality

    2. If we do not have the support network (friends, family, person we depend on)

    3. If our normal method of coping will not work here



Understand human beings – Skunks and Turtles


  1. I want to try to classify everyone today.

  2. You are a skunk, a turtle, or some combination of the 2.

  3. When there are personality clashes, personal conflicts – it is because –

    1. Opposites attract – skunks and turtles get along just fine

    2. Skunks and skunks – always clash

    3. Turtles and turtles – never get anything accomplished, no progress


  1. Act out – spray others

  2. Danger, fear, cornered – attack everything around

  3. Temper – quickly flares, then subsides

  4. Anger is short-lived – after the spray – skunk waddles away, happy and free

  5. Those he sprayed are angry, smelly, hurt – can’t get over being hit

  6. Skunks can wind up doing illegal things – vandalism, robbery, killing

Skunks need to learn:

  1. When and how to spray

  2. Find less harmful and destructive ways to act out

  3. Control their anger in non-sinful ways

  4. Learn what is socially acceptable – stay in the lines

  5. Limit the desire for radical changes



  1. Draw inside – pull back into a shell

  2. Danger, fear, cornered – hold it all in, peek out to see if danger has passed

  3. Anger builds and builds – every event adds to greater caution and suspicion

  4. Anger – builds slowly, lasts a long time

  5. No one else is hurt – the hurt is internal

  6. Turtles can wind up doing personal harm – self-esteem, suicide, depression

Turtles need to learn:

  1. Find a way to let out some of the internal pressure

  2. Learn to like yourself (self-esteem)

  3. Force yourself into groups, activities

  4. Learn to trust others

  5. Learn to be social – venture outside the lines – try new things

Pressure Cookers

  1. Put in green beans, little water, on stove

  2. Steam builds up pressure, weight on valve – psst, psst, psst – lets steam escape

  3. Watch Out when the hissing stops – pressure is building – green beans on ceiling

  4. ALL of us (skunks and turtles) need to learn how to reduce the pressure in harmless ways.


Understand Stress

Part 1 – Cause of Stress


  1. Stress is really an integral part of life. We set our whole pattern of life by our stress endpoint. If we hit it exactly we live dynamic, purposeful, useful, happy lives. If we go over, we break. If we stay too far under, we vegetate.

  2. Almost anything can produce alarm clock ringing, a traffic jam, pressure on the job, getting married, battling an illness...even winning a race.

  3. Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed what they called "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale." A total of 150 or more points within a year means a high level of stress.

  4. 89% of all adult Americans feel stressed out. More whites than blacks. High incomes twice as likely. Better educated - more stress. 114 million deal with stress by taking medication, seeking counseling or psyching themselves out. 64 million do nothing

  5. Stress occurs when there are:

    1. Major life changes - divorce, health

    2. Work problems - demands, fired, insecure

    3. Environmental threats - crime, economy

  6. Stress involves -

    1. Change

    2. Threat of loss

    3. Fear, worry or anxiety about the above


  1. People-to-people contact + Stress = Burnout

  2. When one works too hard, too long, under stress they lose equilibrium. (Vertigo)

  3. The result is BURNOUT.

Stress Quiz

  1. Are you irritated by waiting in line?

  2. Does your personal life depress you?

  3. Do you feel insecure in your job?

  4. Do you eat, drink or smoke to relieve anxiety?

  5. Could your goals be unreal?

  6. Do you feel trapped? Pushed around? Used?

  7. Do you often misplace things?

  8. Are you accident-prone?
    NOTE: One or more "Yes" answers means stress is present in your life - and it needs attention.

Symptoms of Stress

  1. Physical - headaches, intestinal problems, weight loss or gain, insomnia, chest pains, fatigue, hypertension.

  2. Emotional - mood swings, drastic personality changes, intense anger over little things.

  3. Spiritual - not enjoy worship, not pray, not read Bible.

  4. Mental - reject new information, regression to childhood, depression.

Four Stages of Stress.

  1. Challenge - excitement, power, goals to reach

  2. Commitment - boring, life becomes routine

  3. Containment - prison, locked in, trapped

  4. Collapse - walk out, slam the door, quit

Stress in the Bible.

Matthew 6:25-34

  1. Worry about life - eat drink, wear

  2. Look at the birds.

  3. Consider the lilies of the field.

  4. O ye of little faith.

  5. Worry is what Gentiles (non-Christians) do.

  6. Put God and His Kingdom (church) first.

  7. Do not worry about tomorrow, enough with today.

  8. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

  9. Key words: Anxiety; Anxious; Careful; Care

Luke 10:38-42

  1. Martha - cumbered with serving.

  2. "Don't you care that I must serve alone?"

  3. "Careful and troubled about many things."

  4. One thing is needful. Choose it.
    NOTE: The 50 year rule. What will it matter in 50 years if I do this or do not do it?

Philippians 4:6

  1. Worry about nothing. Why SHOULD we worry about:

    1. Past.

    2. Present situation

    3. Future

  2. Pray about everything

  3. Prayer and Worry are in contrast to each other. Like a glass with water and oil in it. The more water you add, the less oil will remain in the glass. The more one prays, the less they worry. The more one worries, the less they will pray.

1 Peter 5:7

  1. Cast your care upon Him. (Care = worry, stress)

  2. He cares for you. (Care = concern)

  3. Concern seeks to assist, help, solve.

  4. Stress stews, frets, paces; does no help.

How to have a Nervous Breakdown.

  1. Worry about trying to find the answer before the problem arises.

    1. 95% of what we worry about never happens.

    2. Maud Muller - Of all the words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these, "It might have been."

    3. "Today will be Yesterday Tomorrow"

  2. Wish things had been different.

    1. Dwell in the past.

    2. Live with regret, remorse, guilt.

  3. Make no decisions, at least not today.

    1. Procrastination is our enemy.

    2. Bakery sign - "Free doughnuts tomorrow"

  4. Demand more of yourself than you can produce.

    1. Many still think salvation is by works.

    2. Therefore, they seek perfection.

    3. Do less than your best = Nothing at all.

    4. Impose tough demands = Destroy yourself.

    5. Believe the worst.

      1. Believe the gossip, rumor, (tabloids).

      2. We should think the best. Phil. 4:8


Part 2 – Cure for Stress

Ways to Deal With Stress.

Avoid Stress.

  1. Get up 15 minutes earlier.

  2. Don't rely on your memory.

  3. Prepare for morning the night before.

  4. Walk everywhere you can.

  5. Allow extra time.

  6. Anticipate your needs.

  7. Don't put up with things that do not work properly.

  8. Say "no" more often.

  9. Rearrange your schedule, work hours, mealtime.

  10. Make copies of all important papers. Keep originals in a safe place.

Reduce Stress.

  1. Be prepared to wait.

  2. Find humor in things.

  3. Count your blessings.

  4. Unclutter your life.

  5. Keep time fillers by your telephone.

  6. Memorize your favorite poem, verse of scripture.

  7. Make contingency plans.

  8. Establish a serene place of your own.

  9. Avoid reliance on chemical aids.

  10. Ask questions.

Relieve Stress.

  1. Get it off your chest.

  2. Take time out - to breath deeply.

  3. Take a break from the children.

  4. Unwind before bedtime.

  5. Schedule more fun.

  6. Find an enjoyable way to exercise.

  7. Find something that relaxes you.

  8. Talk to a loving friend or relative.

  9. Reward yourself after a stressful activity.

  10. Touch, hug, hold hands, kiss.

How to Cope with Stress

  1. Remember that all stress is not bad. James 1:2-3

  2. Develop a positive attitude.

    1. Heb. 12:15 Sweet spirit or Bitter spirit

    2. Psalm 118.24

  3. Whittle your problem down to size. Four questions to ask yourself:

    1. Has anyone else ever had a problem like this?

    2. Did anybody survive a problem like this?

    3. What are the alternatives?

    4. What is best alternative?

  4. Do a regular aerobic exercise.

    1. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

    2. 1 Timothy 4:8

  5. Come apart or you will.

    1. Mark 6:31

    2. John 18:1

  6. Develop a sense of humor.

  7. Feed your spirit. 1 Peter 2:2

  8. Lean on the Lord.

    1. 1 Peter 5:7

    2. Psalm 23

Stress Management (from Gospel Advocate)

  1. Be aware of your own stress and your own feelings.

  2. Confess your sin.

  3. Develop hobbies and interests that are not job or church related.

  4. Get plenty of exercise.

  5. Watch your diet.

  6. Manage your time effectively.

  7. Say "No" to projects you know that you do not want to do.

  8. Develop strong, supportive relationships with fellow Christians.

  9. Pray daily.

  10. Study the Bible daily.

How to Manage Stress (from Reader's Digest)

  1. Reorganize yourself.

  2. Change the scene.

  3. Change your mind.

  4. Build up your strength.

Decision Time. (from Upreach Magazine)

  1. Decide that your ability to succeed does not depend on your physical attractiveness.

  2. Decide that your success does not depend on your performance or ability to function.

  3. If what you're presently doing isn't consistent with your talents and abilities, decide now to make plans to change.

  4. Decide not to define success simply in terms of what you will get.

  5. Decide to share the success that comes to you.

  6. Decide that your success must nurture your entire family.

  7. Decide that your success does not depend on circumstances, nor on the attitudes of people around you or things working out the way you thought they would.

  8. Decide to derive the meaning of your life from a point outside your activities.

Manly's list of suggestions.

  1. Get your perspective right.

    1. Busy with the urgent; we forget the important

    2. Read a book on time management

  2. Take time off.

    1. Weekly. (Sabbath = rest)

    2. Monthly. (Hermeneutic Hideaway)

    3. Yearly. (Vacation - Do not take work with you.)

  3. Take care of yourself.

    1. Walk, jog, run, swim, bicycle

    2. 30 to 60 minutes / 3 times per week

    3. Eat right. Sleep right

  4. Learn to say "NO"

  5. Delegate.

    1. One man band OR conductor of the orchestra.

    2. Turn over AND turn loose.

  6. Laugh.

    1. Read the comics.

    2. Reader's Digest – "Laughter"

  7. Use support network.

  8. We all need three levels of fellowship.

    1. Church - Worship with an unlimited number

    2. Class - 10 to 15 associates

    3. Cell - Close group of 3 to 5

  9. Develop new disciplines.

    1. Learn something new, challenging.

    2. Develop a hobby, sport, activity.

  10. Enrich your life.

    1. Try new things.

    2. Be adventurous.

  11. Face what you fear.

    1. Emerson - "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain."

    2. When you face it, you will learn that it is not as big, bad, mean as you imagined it to be.

  12. Practice self – assessment.

    1. Take inventory.

    2. Make adjustments.

    3. Avoid falling into new traps.


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