The NY Times just posted an article about the rather dramatic rise in suicide rates among those 45-54 years old. It went up 20 percent in men and 31 percent in women in that age group.
Suicide is an ongoing problem in our culture. We live in a world where the expectation of a perfect life is almost assumed. On top of that, the increase of medications and other factors has made suicide rates almost epidemic in the United States.
How is a Christian to handle this? Well, for starters, we do understand that suicide is a sin (5th commandment), but it is only a sin. Jesus died for even that. The notion of categorically condemning anyone who commits suicide is simple not in keeping with the Gospel. Obviously some may commit suicide as the end of despair over the faith. Others may do so because the pain becomes overwhelming. For many, we never know the reasons for suicide.
I am saddened to hear of this trend, and will have to spend some time thinking about it. Why the rise in this age group? What has changed over the last decade in the United States that would warrant such a change?
God be merciful to us, as we remember those who have taken their own lives. I have considered the same in dark hours of the night. But God is merciful, and has spared me from that fate. May it be so for one and all.