September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. It is a time to bring to light the troubling trend of what ends so many lives in our country. More than 47,000 Americans die by suicide each year. It is the 4th leading cause of death for people ages 35-54. 78 percent are men, many of whom struggle with the stigma of speaking about emotional and physical struggles. What does this have to do with Christians? Studies have shown that the suicide rate among Believers vs those with no religious affiliation is similar. Is there anything that we as Christians can do to reduce this rate?
One way to reduce the rate among Christians is to talk about it. When we ignore the issue and simply say to pray or read scripture we're removing the opportunity to be vulnerable and acknowledge our struggles. We should of course seek out scripture and spiritual guidance when we feel that we see ourselves or others experiencing troubling signs. Those signs can be: talking about being a burden, giving away possessions, isolating, extreme mood swings, showing lack of interest in future plans, etc. The Bible provides many scriptures related to hope such as Isaiah 41:10, which says: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 1 John 4:4 "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." There are also scriptures related to honoring our bodies such as 1 Cor. 6:19-20: "Do you not know that your bodies are are temples 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 bodies." The issue is that many people who struggle with suicidal thoughts feel like they're alone despite what the scriptures say. They need a reminder that they're important to you as well as to God.
This is why we created the Your Life Matters to Me and to God design. We want Christians to be able to use this design to show they care about every person. We don't want you to just wear this design but to act upon it as well. Christian clothing should be able to speak to those in and out of the Body of Christ. We have to show true love through our actions and that we are sincere. Romans 15:1-3 says: "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."" Struggling with mental, physical and even spiritual health is not a sign that you are weak. Seeking out help is a sign that you are working to become stronger. He called us to work together and not alone. He called us to point hearts and minds to Him.