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Monday, November 03, 2014

Dying with(out) Honor

This is a sticky subject. And one I don’t relish.

Someone by the name of Brittany, in the “right to die” state of Oregon, ended her life yesterday and got plenty of press leading up to it, as well as headlines today.

I think this is horrible. On many levels.

1) Suicide is taking the place of God’s sovereignty in life.

Those who know me best, know that I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone else. I have struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide since I was a teen. Jesus is my Rock, and I have to constantly remind myself of that. The fact that *I* am not in charge. He has chosen the day of my birth, and has the right to choose the day of my death as well. I owe all to Him, and nothing I could go through on this earth could compare to what He did for me in His death and resurrection.

2) We have romanticized and glorified suicide.

Foreign countries with euthanasia laws, as well as states here in the US, have popularized the “right” and even the “duty” to die with “dignity.” This makes my stomach turn. What dignity is there is escape? The argument is given that one doesn’t want to be a burden on family or friends or society. Did you ever stop to think that there are people whose calling in life is to care for others in dire situations? Choosing to end one’s life actually steals the gift of caring that others want to give. 

Even worse, we use the term “rest in peace” for someone who has committed suicide. Christians, you should be ashamed of yourselves if you ever use this term for anyone other than a believer in Jesus. Anyone who dies without Jesus is certainly not resting in peace, but in hell. I hope you wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 

3) Strength is not in death, but in living a tough life.

Allow me an exception in this case. The only time strength comes in death is when one is giving up his life for another. Heroes are definitely strong in death. But to choose escape is not strength. Live the life God gives you to live … every last minute of it. Fight with every fiber you have, because God is the author of life. And when He finally chooses the day of your transition to heaven (big assumption here that the reader believes that Jesus is Savior), then taking His hand is both strong and acquiescent.

But PLEASE don’t say that suicide is death with honor. A resounding NO to that thought.

To those who have friends or family who chose their own death, how have you dealt with it? May I say that I am truly sorry that you’ve had to survive such an ordeal.

If you need help, it is available.