"Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms," (Ephesians 6:12, NIV).
Have you ever had one of "those" tough questions people seem to ask that philosophers have been arguing for centuries over? People write books on them, speakers have presentations and others pay big money to go to therapists and counselors to find answers to these kinds of questions. We all get them one time or another; especially when we become a parent and our kids are looking for answers to these things. The hardest thing is to know how to respond. But if we claim to be a Christian, God's word provides the information we need.
We could go round and round with different passages from the bible, take different interpretations of the passages, and argue about them until we are blue in the face. However, the best approach is to take the bible as a whole with everything we know how God formed us in His image and get to the root of the problem.
IS SUICIDE SELFISH?
This is a common question I have heard asked and answered, but this question lacks the proper verb-age to accurately answer the question. The problem with this question is that it's not a black and white issue. Yes, suicide can seem to be a selfish act on behalf of the person who is thinking about committing that act, but that perspective alone fails to take into account the medical, physical, and biological issues that surround depression and other mental health disorders that exhibit thoughts like these. It's more complicated than we realize. We can't understand the mind of the individual who may be contemplating these thoughts without being in their shoes personally. We can't assume or make accusations that we know what they are thinking and feeling, along with what might be contributing to these internal thoughts. To make a blanket statement that suicide is selfish lacks the sensitivity needed to help the individual who may be having or who might have had these kinds of thoughts. The question we REALLY need to be asking is, "Where do thoughts of suicide come from?"
WHERE DO THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE COME FROM?
Thoughts of suicide can happen for a number of reasons. In the article, "Understanding Nutrition, Depression and Mental Illness" located on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website, their research clearly indicates that some common deficiencies that can cause depression are low vitamin D, B, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and other amino acids. Is someone being selfish not realizing how their biology has been affected by the lack of or the overconsumption of certain foods that help naturalize or deregulate this process? Maybe, but even God's word says that his "people destroy themselves due to a lack of knowledge," (Hosea 4:6a). If that's the case, then it isn't selfishness that causes people to commit or contemplate suicide, but a lack of knowledge.
With that knowledge comes a responsibility. We see websites and 1-800 numbers that try to make themselves available to help someone who may be dealing with issues like these and it's important to be trained professionally how to approach a topic such as this. However, the world as we know it fails to take into account the spiritual aspect of every human life. The most effective answer to the question, "Where do thoughts of suicide come from?" is that it's demonic and comes from the father of lies and his dominion.
That is not to say that the person who might be having these thoughts is demonic, but that they are dealing with a demonic attack on their life. It doesn't mean we have to rebuke them "in Jesus Name" and the thoughts will no longer be present in the individual for the rest of their life. What this means is that we need to shine a light on the real culprit of thoughts like these and call it for what it is, then work with the individual who may be dealing with these thoughts and help them find the help they may need. Yes, it is spiritual because God's word tells us ALL of our battles are and not all of our thoughts come from us. The enemy can easily implant thoughts in our minds and get us to chase rabbit trails thinking they are our own. The most important thing to know is how to respond to the attack when it happens and falling on our knees in humility and in prayer is the most important position and the first step we can take. After that, finding out what may be causing thoughts like these is a good place to start.
Get some blood work done at the doctor's office. Are you eating to much sugar and not eating enough vegetables? Are you dealing with a traumatic past or some form of PTSD? Are you having some kind of medical issue that may be contributing to thoughts like these? These are some basic places to start, but a lot of times they can be the most effective. Sometimes it requires medication or a change in a medication the person may already be on to address it. But failing to call the issue for what it is and not take the steps necessary to address it is irresponsible, especially as Christians. If we're really honest with ourselves and others, we can be transparent and admit times the enemy has given us these thoughts and help others learn how to defeat them.
Let's face it . . . the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy every human life God created (John 10:10) because we are the most prized possession God has made. He created us in His image (Gen. 1:27) and gave us a spirit (Gen. 2:7) in order to have a relationship with him. If someone doesn't have a relationship with Christ, this specific spiritual battle will be undefeatable because they do not have the power to fight this kind of battle. The only one who can defeat the enemy is the Lord and we must have a personal relationship with Christ for him to do so. Without that, we are doomed, but with Him, we are saved by His grace (Eph. 2:8-9) every day and can help others to do the same. All we have to do is invite Him in to be the boss of our life (Rom. 10:9) and start living life His way instead of our own (Matt. 7:24-27).