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What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Whether you’ve personally been impacted by it or not, it’s not uncommon to wonder what the Bible says about suicide.

Mental Health
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Content Advisory: this article contains mentions of suicide. Discretion is advised for those who may be sensitive to this topic.  

If you are in crisis and need immediate help, reach out to one of these mental health hotlines:  

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Hotline: 1-800-950-NAMI  

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 800-662-HELP  

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK  

Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741 

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Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States – even higher among adults between the ages of 25 and 34 (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). Chances are, you’ve been impacted by it in some way or another.  

There is no shortage of information and resources about mental health, and specifically suicide. But did you know even the Bible contains stories, insights, and hope around the topic of suicide?  

For followers of Christ, the Bible is a source of wisdom for a variety of situations – so let’s ask the question, “what does the Bible say about suicide?” 

What does the Bible say about suicide? 

The Bible contains tons of valuable insight for situations we face throughout our lives, but what we may not realize is that it doesn’t shy away from even the grittiest topics – including suicide. The truth is, the Bible contains stories of people who felt hopeless in life, and even those who took their own lives.  

So what does it say about suicide in the Bible? 

1. Suicide is sin 

The Bible doesn’t mince words on the topic of sin, and suicide isn’t exempt. Genesis 9:6 tells us that each of us is created in the image of God – and that taking a human life is an offense against God. That includes taking one’s own life.  

However, it’s important to keep in mind that suicide is no worse in God’s eyes than any other sin, which also means it isn’t beyond God’s forgiveness and mercy. In fact, no such sin is unforgiveable through Jesus (Matthew 12:31).  

2. Suicide happened in the Bible 

There are several accounts – probably more than you realize – of people who struggled with mental health, even to the point of taking their own lives. The stories of Samson (Judges 16:26-30), King Saul (1 Samuel 31:3-6), and Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:3-5) all end in suicide.  

For each of these tragic stories, there are also those who experienced deep despair in their lives. Consider Job (Job 3:11), who lost everything he had – his family, his job, his assets. Or King David, who wrote many psalms expressing incredible anguish and hopelessness (Psalm 69).  

One thing David and Job had in common was turning to God in prayer in the midst of their suffering. This serves as an important reminder to us: no matter how deep your sorrow, or how hopeless you feel, turning away from God is never the answer.  

3. Suicide halts God’s purpose for our lives 

In Christianity, we talk a lot about how heaven is our ultimate hope, where all the frustration, hopelessness, and heartache we experience in life will cease. Our eternity in heaven will be far better than even our best days on earth 

This doesn't mean our lives on earth are meaningless. God has plans for each one of us and is creating something beautiful with our lives – the good and the bad (Ephesians 2:10). And as long as we’re living, we can carry out that purpose!  

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If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone. Don‘t give up! We have mental health resources that can help. We'd also love to get you connected with a pastor or counselor, or simply pray with you

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LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you! 


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