Suicide

Today was heartbreaking as many of us found out about Jarrid Wilson, an associate pastor to Greg Laurie, took his own life. He has struggled with mental illness and has been a huge advocate for mental health. This happened just a little over a year after Pastor Andrew Stoecklein, another California pastor, took his own life.

Mental illness touches every family in some way. I’m the fourth generation of those battling depression in my family. Because I see many pastors who carry burdens alone, I am dedicated to pastoring pastors and also helping educate those within the church about anxiety and depression.

The part that makes me angry is that many will say Jarrid Wilson is rotting in hell now because he committed suicide. Many hold this erroneous belief that those who commit suicide, even if they have trusted Christ as Savior, automatically go to hell. The reason for their “logic” is that the person had no time to confess the sin. I asked a man who said that to me if he lusted after a woman and died in a car crash as a result of his distraction, would he go to hell. He stammered. I tried to use his “logic”. He did not want to believe the truth of Scripture because it appeared to give people an easy way out. He obviously had no comprehension of what is physically happening in the brain with someone who struggles with mental illness.

May we not be quick to dismiss those we do not understand. Reach out. Help them get the help they need. Love them through it. You may not understand what would lead someone to commit suicide, but many struggle with these thoughts. There are also many who suffer today because their loved one committed suicide. They don’t know to process all this. If you have the knowledge, educate your family, your friends, and all those within your influence. The Christian community can no longer turn its head. Those who struggle need a voice. Let’s be that voice!

9 thoughts on “Suicide

  1. Mental health is something the church as a whole seems to be behind in trying to understand. As for the young assistant pastor who completed suicide, there is only one sin that is not covered by the cross of Jesus and that is to reject Jesus as Savior.

  2. Unfortunately, most people will get hung up on the words “committed suicide” instead of addressing the real problem(s) because that’s the world we live in these days.
    (As you know, my mom, her mom, and my father’s sister killed themselves, so I’ve used the words “committed suicide” throughout my memoir and will continue to use them.)
    Prayers for his family, particularly his wife, who’s no doubt questioning what she could’ve done differently.

  3. Thank you for this post. It’s true that we can find it easier to say, “Cancer killed so-and-so,” than to realize, “Mental illness killed…”
    The act of suicide is only the final symptom of a horrible disease. May we Christians come along side those with mental illnesses as quickly as we do those with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. I pray this man’s family and friends will know the comfort that God wants to be in their lives as they deal with this unspeakable loss. I pray they will rest assured that God welcomed him home, and that he is disease-free now.
    I don’t want to sound like I think suicide is the answer to the disease. But I also don’t want to condemn anyone who loses the battle with any disease, including mental illness.
    Thank you for your ministry to pastors, and those who need a voice. I hear you.

  4. This post is beautiful. I was just thinking this morning on how damaging the ideology that a person who commits suicide is immediately condemned to hell is. It’s what I was brought up on as a child in church and quite frankly it made me question God more than trust him. As an adult I still struggle with the truth in that statement, but it’s not always a statement you can discuss with christian leaders, especially as a leader. It provokes too many questions and is such a touchy topic within the church. I appreciate this post and your thoughts as a pastor greatly.

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