Tired of Life

Dear Christian Counselor:

I know that we are supposed to try and be like Jesus every day. But we are never going to be perfect until he comes back. So what happens if you have been hurting for years inside and out and you have no fight left in yourself anymore and you take your own life?  Would you still go to heaven?

Tired of the Fight


Dear Tired:

If someone asked me whether they should have an affair or abort an unwanted child, I wouldn’t mess around with theology and what might happen afterward.  I’m not going to do that with your question either.  You are asking me whether serious and deliberate sin could be a good choice.  It can’t.  The choices God endorses lead to life and hope and peace.  I know there are times when that doesn’t feel true, but that’s where faith comes in.  God has already given His only Son in exchange for you.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Cor. 6:19-20  You are not your own to destroy.  The One who cared enough to purchase your life also cares enough to help you.

There are many things you can also do to help yourself through the kind of depression which births questions like yours.  Counseling and medication are two options to consider.  Here is a list of practical things you can do, as well: Helps for Depression.  An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that, “more than 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt, including attempts that were expected to be lethal … do not go on to die by suicide.”  What this means is that you will not always feel this way.  If I had trusted my own dark thoughts rather than the truth of Scripture and the love of God, I would not have lived to find the light and purpose God had in store for me.  Don’t give up.  Lean hard on the Lord’s strength rather than your own.  It does take work, but you can find healing, too.  That’s God’s plan for you – not self-murder.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11.


If you are having suicidal thoughts, tell someone (a spouse, a friend, a pastor, a counselor).  If there’s no one you can tell, contact one of these resources:

800-273-TALK
1-800-SUICIDE
800-884-0585 (before 10pm)
800-421-5183 (before 10pm)
1-800-759-0700 (for prayer)
https://www.imalive.org/ (live chat)

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Is God Annoyed with Me?

Dear Christian Counselor,

Am I worthless and annoying?  Can you make God hate you or annoy God?

Daughter of the King

 


Dear Daughter,

No.

That is the short and only answer to both your questions.  The rest is just explanation.  If you are a daughter of the King, as you signed yourself, then there is no condemnation, no punishment, no anger, no annoyance for you whatsoever (Rom. 8:1; 2 Cor. 5:21).  Christ has already taken it all, and in exchange, you get all the approval and delight which Christ earned (1 John 4:16, 17).  To believe otherwise would be to rest on your own merits – or lack of merits – instead of resting on the merits of Jesus.

The Bible says that we can grieve the Holy Spirit by our bad behavior (Eph. 4:30), just as we can grieve a good parent by our bad behavior.  However, God will not respond in a sinful manner, with annoyance; He is kind, tenderhearted and forgiving, as Eph. 4:32 describes.

As for what you are worth, you are exactly worth the life of God’s only Son.  In other words, you are infinitely valuable.

Here are a couple of articles you might find helpful:

http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content?topic=no_condemnation_in_christ_devotional#.UIyWb2t5mSM

http://dearchristiancounselor.com/blog/what-are-you-worth/

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Grieving Many Losses

Dear Christian Counselor:

How do multiple deaths of loved ones impact the length of time grieving expands?  My mom is 73 and over the last 21 years she lost her father-in-law, mother, husband, brother-in-law, step-mother-in-law and niece.  The first three left us in the first four years.  As she never really had time to fully grieve each loss before the next one arrived, could her grief be compounded for a seemingly never-ending process?  I’m asking because I don’t want to “require” things from her which she isn’t able to produce because she is still grieving.

Years of Tears


Dear Years:

Grief is like a man walking away from home who turns to look back, and finding the sight so achingly beautiful, he cannot make himself return to the path.  A person who has experienced the kind of grief your mother has will always carry it with her, but if it is still the constant focus of her gaze after 21 years, then she is missing the life God has for her today.  In addition to the five “stages of grief” which Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified back in the 1960’s, a sixth step called hope is a key marker for recovery.  (We have a handout on this topic if you’d like to read more.)  Hope can be difficult to achieve for older adults who already feel that there is little ahead for them in this life.  And yet, every day has its own purpose for all God’s children.

Grieving is such an individual process that it is impossible to say what period of time is appropriate, but 21 years is certainly too long.  Your mother may be experiencing depression or something called “complicated grief.”  She probably needs some help and support to move forward.  Fortunately, there are many types of support available, such as social groups, support groups, short-term studies like GriefShare, and counselors who specialize in grief and bereavement.  Gently requiring more of her could be the catalyst your mother needs to see that something is wrong in her life and spirit.  Acknowledging that problem is the first step toward healing it. 

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