The Bible’s answer
Yes! The Bible comes from “God, who comforts those who are downhearted.” (2 Corinthians 7:6) Although the Bible is not a mental-health textbook, it has helped many overcome suicidal thoughts. Its practical advice can help you too.
What practical advice does the Bible give?
● Express your feelings.
What the Bible says: “A true friend shows love at all times, and is a brother who is born for times of distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.
Meaning: We need the support of others when we have distressing thoughts.
If you keep your feelings to yourself, you carry a burden that can become unbearable. But if you share your feelings, you may lessen their intensity and even gain a fresh perspective.
Try this: Talk to someone today, perhaps a family member or a trusted friend. * You might also express yourself by writing down your feelings.
● Get professional help.
What the Bible says: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but those who are ill do.”—Matthew 9:12.
Meaning: We should seek medical help when we are ill.
Suicidal thoughts may be a symptom of mental or emotional illness. Like physical sickness, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Mental and emotional illnesses can be treated.
Try this: Seek help from a qualified physician as soon as possible.
● Remember that God cares.
What the Bible says: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. . . . Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”—Luke 12:6, 7.
Meaning: You are precious to God.
You may feel all alone, but God sees what you are going through. He cares about you—even if you have lost your will to live. “A heart broken and crushed, O God, you will not reject,” says Psalm 51:17. God wants you to live because he loves you.
Try this: Examine evidence from the Bible that God loves you. For example, see chapter 24 of the Bible study aid Draw Close to Jehovah.
● Pray to God.
What the Bible says: “Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.
Meaning: God invites you to tell him openly and honestly about whatever weighs on your mind.
● Meditate on the Bible’s hope for the future.
What the Bible says: “We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, both sure and firm.”—Hebrews 6:19, footnote.
Meaning: Your emotions may go up and down like a ship in a storm, but the hope held out by the Bible can stabilize you.
That hope is not wishful thinking but is based on God’s promise to remove the causes of our pain.—Revelation 21:4.
Try this: Learn more about the Bible’s hope by reading lesson 5 of the brochure Good News From God!
● Do something you enjoy.
What the Bible says: “A joyful heart is good medicine.”—Proverbs 17:22.
Meaning: When we do things that bring us joy, we may improve our mental or emotional well-being.
Try this: Do something that you normally enjoy. For example, listen to uplifting music, read something encouraging, or pursue a hobby. You will also increase your happiness if you do something to help others, even in small ways.—Acts 20:35.
● Take care of your physical health.
What the Bible says: “Physical training is beneficial.”—1 Timothy 4:8.
Meaning: We benefit when we exercise, get adequate sleep, and eat healthful food.
Try this: Go for a brisk walk, even for just 15 minutes.
● Remember that feelings and other things in life change.
What the Bible says: “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.”—James 4:14.
Meaning: A distressing problem—even one that seems beyond your control—may well be temporary.
No matter how bleak your situation seems today, it can change tomorrow. So look for ways to cope. (2 Corinthians 4:8) Your distressing situation will likely change in time, but you cannot undo suicide.
Try this: Read Bible accounts about people who felt so discouraged that they wanted to die, and see how their life eventually changed for the better—often in ways that they could not have foreseen. Consider some examples.
Does the Bible tell us about people who wanted to die?
Yes. The Bible tells us about some who said, in effect, “I want to die.” God did not rebuke them, but offered them help. He can do the same for you.
● Who was he? Elijah was a brave prophet. But he was not immune to discouragement. “Elijah was a man with feelings like ours,” says James 5:17.
● Why did he want to die? At one point, Elijah felt alone, afraid, and worthless. So he begged: “Jehovah, take my life away.”—1 Kings 19:4.
● What helped him? Elijah poured out his feelings to God. How did God encourage him? God showed him concern and gave him a demonstration of His power. He also assured Elijah that he was still needed and gave Elijah a caring and capable assistant.
▸ Read about Elijah: 1 Kings 19:2-18.
● Who was he? Job was a wealthy family man who faithfully worshipped the true God.
● Why did he want to die? Job’s life took a major turn for the worse. He lost all his possessions. All of his children died in a disaster. He got an agonizing disease. And finally, he was cruelly and falsely accused of causing his own problems. Job said: “I loathe my life; I do not want to go on living.”—Job 7:16.
● What helped him? Job prayed to God and talked to others. (Job 10:1-3) He was encouraged by a compassionate friend, Elihu, who helped him put his situation in perspective. Above all, Job welcomed God’s counsel and help.
● Who was he? Moses was a leader of ancient Israel and a faithful prophet.
● What helped him? Moses told God how he felt. God helped Moses lighten his workload to alleviate the stress.
^ par. 5 If your suicidal thoughts are intense and loved ones are unavailable, call a local crisis hotline or emergency number.
THE WATCHTOWER—STUDY EDITION
BIBLE QUESTIONS ANSWERED