Christianity and Suicide

Christians often find the topic of suicide difficult, yet as Christians we are called to ask the tough questions with love.

Christianity and Suicide
Carrie Cravens
Oct 31, 2023

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, among the most notable of all mental health awareness occasions. But for many it’s also the most difficult to digest. It’s not a fun topic to discuss, it’s overwhelming, scary, sad and “prevention” can feel unattainable, However, if we take the time to become educated this can be a significant opportunity to be proactive and perhaps save a life. Suicide continues to carry a heavy stigma and is an often-misunderstood illness. Yes, I said illness. There are so many myths related to suicide. Many believe there is no way to prevent it, if they ask, they will put the idea in someone’s head; and people who talk about suicide don’t actually follow through and various other false beliefs. The truth is suicide is one of the most preventable forms of death. Asking someone about suicide has been proven to decrease anxiety and lead a person toward help, and people who talk about suicide often do take action toward ending their life.

For Christians, the myths and stigma related to suicide can be even greater. It’s often misunderstood as a mortal sin and therefore seen in terms of condemnation from others, believers and non-believers alike. Whatever one believes about the ramifications of suicide, ultimately, as Christians, we are called, no, we are mandated to love others, join them in prayer, guide them toward Jesus and refrain from judgement. It is not up to us to decide another’s eternal destination, that belongs in the hands of Our Savior. John 10:28-30

How do we approach the topic of suicide as Christians?

Quite simply, we turn to Jesus. The Bible is full of examples of the struggling human. What did Jesus do when he encountered people in pain? He sat with them. He touched them. He prayed with them. He healed them. He told them of God’s promises and led them toward eternal life. Jesus recognized their pain and He said, “I am with you”. Mark 1:40-42, Mark 8:22-25, John 11:25-26 and so many more!

What do I say? How do I ask someone about suicide?

It's difficult to have a conversation about suicide. Particularly with someone who is struggling with thoughts to end their life. However, the most important thing in this situation is to ask, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” or “Do you have thoughts of suicide?”. You will be met with relief and gratefulness that you cared enough to ask. Philippians 2:1-5

How will I know when to ask?

You learn the signs but also, you trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. You know that gut feeling you get? That could be the Holy Spirit letting you know it’s time to ask. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead your conversation. John 14:15-17

Then what?

If the person states that they are thinking about suicide, call or go with them to get help. Call 988 – The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or take them to the nearest emergency room. Stay with them and pray with them. Offer hope that help is available, and you are on their team.

I could go into details about statistics to emphasize just how important this issue is, but that information is easily accessible on the internet (, Bottom line is this, suicide rates continue to increase in the United States; it does not discriminate among ethnicity, race, gender, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and anyone is at risk. As Christians, it is our charge to care, to love, to listen to the Holy Spirit and to live by Jesus’ example. I believe Jesus would ask the tough questions, will you?