The nation was rocked with the back-to-back suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef and CNN star Anthony Bourdain last week, it quickly spurred an honest and humble conversation about suicide that was long overdue.
Spade and Bourdain both lived the very definition of the American dream. They were both entirely self-made, vastly wealthy, household names, and yet all their success, comfort, and luxury did nothing to combat the demons that haunted them.
Across the political spectrum, Americans are now facing the cold, hard truth that suicide has reached epidemic proportions in our nation, and clearly, something is horribly, horribly amiss.
The Benham brothers have a very simple answer: we need Jesus.
In an article penned on WND, the twins say that as our society moves further and further away from the truth of Jesus Christ, millions of Americans are left without a purpose for their existence, and that the crushing pain of a fallen world far too often comes crashing down on them.
They explain that Jesus gives what they describe as a “life and death” offer to every person on earth: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
This isn’t just a simple Sunday school lesson – it’s a life-and-death offer. Because we live in a fallen world, our minds, wills and emotions are subject to countless disorders and burdens beyond our ability to fix. And yet Christ calls to us, saying, “I will give you rest from it all – just come to Me.”
But in a secular society, offers like this are ignored; or even worse, mocked. Yet secularization has no solution, and it hasn’t fixed our problem as new data from the CDC reveals suicide rates have spiked 30 percent since 1999. In fact, secularization has only made this epidemic worse – because when you remove the phrase, “you were created for a purpose” from the cultural conversation, suicide becomes an easier option. And the numbers don’t lie, as a recent Gallup poll showed 20 percent of Americans now find suicide “morally acceptable.”
This is staggering, the brothers say, and it is imperative that we recognize that we were created for a purpose.
We mustn’t forget how valuable we are to Him, as He tells us, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:20)
God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. Not one thing about us is a mistake. The more we look to Him and hear these incredible truths, the less suicide becomes an option.
God isn’t the only one who has a plan for us, they explain. That age-old enemy of all that is good, Satan, is also hard at work in his relentless effort to stand between us and eternal peace.
But Satan also has a plan and a purpose, and that is to “steal, kill and destroy” – everyone and everything (John 10:10). He’s a thief, and he works in our minds on a daily basis to break us down, forget God, lose our purpose and eventually convince us to take our lives if he can.
Don’t think for a second Satan’s demons weren’t all over the minds of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain as they finally tied those bathrobe ties around their necks and hung themselves. We guarantee those demons were whispering things like, “You’re worthless. Just end it all. You have no hope.”
This point is not to be overlooked. Never lose sight of the fact that we are living in the midst of the great drama of all existence, the battle between good and evil that makes life so painful, challenging, difficult, and dark.
We can talk about mental illness, we can talk about the weight of fame, we can talk about drug use and alcoholism and even secularism but ultimately, the true enemy is Satan and this fallen world over which he is–only for the time being–god.
But we, the Body of Christ, have read the end of the book, and the Benham brothers explain that when he whispers in our ear that we’re worthless and that there’s no hope that “that’s all a lie.”
Now others have to deal with the devastating consequences of those lies. Kate Spade left a teenage daughter behind. Anthony Bourdain left an eleven-year-old. The horrific reality of suicide affects everyone, and despite noble attempts by secular people to explain why it happened, the reality is the thief (Satan) robbed these people of the precious life God gave them – and robbed their kids of a mom and a dad.
The best solution, the only solution, the one thing the world needs amid all this grief, tragedy, and heartbreak, the only thing that will prevent future suicides, is the one thing that can save us from the lies of the enemy and the pain of a fallen world: the rest of Jesus Christ.
Suicide is never the solution, regardless of how desperate and hopeless you may feel. And secularization has no answers either. Only Jesus, whose offer remains the same today as it did two thousand years ago, “Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
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