It’s Narcissist Friday!
How bad can heart pain get?
I recently had a conversation with some good friends who asked what would happen to a believer who committed suicide. I’m not sure when the idea started that someone who ended his or her own life would go to hell, no matter what faith the person professed before, but it has certainly caused a lot of grief. My friends knew a person who had spoken strongly and often about love for the Savior, sharing with others the good news, and living a kind and open life. But the last couple of years had been very hard. At the end, there was a harsh note filled with despair and pain and a body.
So, what happened to this “formerly” strong believer? Straight to hell? No. I can’t find that in Scripture. I believe Jesus hold on to His people even when they can no longer hold on to Him. “Neither death nor life” will be able to separate us from Him.
We need to be honest. Believers can go through unbelieving times. Times filled with such heart pain that an end seems better than another day. I wish that were not true. I wish every believer would be able to look with joy and hope to the Lord’s face every moment of every day. I wish I could. But sometimes the pain is so strong that it’s all you can think about.
Do you make good decisions when you are in pain? Do you “keep your hopes up,” as they say? Or are you like the rest of us, doing stupid things just to get it to stop—or even for a few moments of some better feeling? Another cookie, another online purchase, another drink—these are small things. What about a quick fling with a neighbor or co-worker, something you will regret for the rest of your life? It would feel good for a while, take your mind and heart away from the pain that won’t stop, even as you know it won’t be good in the long run.
Johnny Cash was the one who sang, “I hurt myself today,” when I first heard the song. “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.” (I don’t think I have ever heard the Nine Inch Nails version.) An affair, cutting, spending money we don’t have—these are ways of hurting ourselves (we know they will hurt us), but they also affirm that we can still feel. Stupid acts with lasting consequences, but the things we do when we are becoming numb from so much pain.
The folks who claim to know say that 10 million Americans seriously considered suicide in the past year. About a third of them made a plan. You might be one of them. Or maybe you were a few years ago. Yes, it would have been stupid, especially as you look back from today. Today, for some, that pain is a memory. A new life has begun. There was hope, but you couldn’t see it.
Some will actually do it. They will hurt themselves to a point from which there is no return. Even the fear of hell will not stop them, because the pain is already hell. And, like many other bad decisions, there is no turning back. Once you have had the affair, you can’t undo it. And you may call for help and be saved in time from your suicide attempt, or you might not be able to. Some decisions are like that.
Please, there is hope. Find some help if you are going through this kind of pain. There are other ways to end it. There really are. Cry out to Jesus, He loves you. Find your way back to Him. Find someone who can help you find your way back. Don’t take your own life. There are many who care. They may not realize how much you hurt.
And, if you have had these thoughts, don’t think about them as sin, think of them as desperation. Severe heart pain is also real. Pain so great that you long for a way out, no matter what options are offered.
If you have had such thoughts, don’t feel guilty. If you are having these thoughts now, you are not evil. But you are hurting at a level that may be out of control. Please stop everything and find help. Please.