Suicide seems to be trending more these days as a quick way to get out of life’s challenges. I can’t stop asking, why would anyone want to take his/her own life? I believe a lack of purpose or meaning is a huge reason. According to an article by Alex Lickerman on Psychology today, the reasons anyone may choose to commit suicide include depression, psychosis, addiction, frustration, stress, a deliberate desire to die due to a terminal disease, etc. Aside from the last reason, it is obvious that no one in the right minds would want to end his/her life. Which means a distorted perception can equally lead to suicide. Perception is what determines how anyone experiences various life situations.
Lickerman in another article explains that Psychologists have argued that the reason our core affect (basic feelings) varies has less to do with what happens to us but with how we think about what happens to us. We therefore see how perception or our mindset affect how we react to situations good or bad. In Lickerman’s words, “Mindset explains, for example, why some people remain joyful and optimistic no matter how awful the tragedy that befalls them while others suffer and complain no matter how much good fortune comes their way. Mindset is the reason one person’s mountain is another person’s molehill.”
Perception is shaped greatly by a number of factors such as gene, upbringing, drugs, disease, hormonal state and so on but the most important factor is your beliefs. What do you belief? Do you believe in a mighty God who created the world and all that is in it or do you believe that you came into existence by the reaction of some chemicals? Have you ever asked, what is the purpose of life? Why was I created? Who am I? Living a purposeful life is living to do what you were designed for but you cannot understand what you were designed for unless you know who you are and having a joyful acceptance of self. Therefore, self discovery is a prerequisite to purposeful leaving. An authentic discovery of self is one that reflects your true origin otherwise embarking on a journey of self discovery can become a futile exercise. It was Konrad Lorenz who once remarked that “scientists are people who know more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing.” As wonderful as scientific discoveries are, there is a limit to the answers it can provide. As Drength A.J. puts it in an article on www.personalityjunkie.com, “…there comes a time in the quest for self when amassing more details about ourselves can start to feel counterproductive. What began as a search for a meaningful self-understanding can start feeling more like a pursuit of trivialities”
There is a deep yearning or vacuum in the heart of everyman which can only be satisfied by a loving God. This hunger cannot be satisfied by scientific research, success, wealth, or fame, it cannot be satisfied by our goals, ambitions or dreams. This vacuum may feel bigger when faced with life challenges because of the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that may accompany such situations. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 1: 11 that: it is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Also, in Colossians 1:16, scripture says that everything, absolutely, everything, above, below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels- everything got started in him and find its purpose in Him.
In Nietche’s words, from the book “Man search for meaning“, by Victor Frankl, “he who has a why to live for can bear any how”. When you have a reason for living, suffering somehow becomes more bearable. That is when pain can be transformed into purpose. You develop resilience such that pain or suffering when it comes only makes you stronger. Pain is part of the human condition, it is not something you can just wish away or rebuke by speaking in tongues. One way or another, it will come. The question therefore is how will you cope with all the challenges life will bring? This is where a relationship with God becomes even more necessary. Having a relationship with God is more than belonging to a church or religious group. Having a relationship with God is being connected to the Source of life. It is being connected with Love because God is love and it is being connected with light. Scripture says in John 14: 6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Light. Jesus is not some spiritual leader as the rest of the world like to refer to Him. He is God the Son! The meaning or purpose of life can only be gotten from Him. The why of your existence can only be found in the Source. Finding meaning is much more than being successful or famous. A person who has discovered the purpose of life cannot deliberately end his or her own life. Also, when you know how valuable you are, the last thing on your mind would be ending your life. The only person who can give you an authentic self-worth is God. In fact we are so valuable that more than two thousand years ago, God had to send his only Begotten son to die to redeem us, we are so valuable that the blood of bulls or rams could not suffice to save us from damnation except the blood of God’s precious Son.
Are you beginning to get the picture of how valuable you are? You are so precious that you are referred to as the apple of God’s eyes in Zechariah 2:8, you are so valuable that God said that he would sell off the whole world to get you back in Isaiah 43:4. You and I are so important that Isaiah 43:1 and Luke 12:7 testify that God knows the number of hair on our heads and even our names. But more than that, we have been uniquely created. Do you know that there is no one else that is exactly like you in the whole world? Even identical twins don’t look exactly the same. God took his time to intricately weave you together in your mother’s womb so much so that the Psalmist in Psalm 139:14 says “we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The truth is we need to remind ourselves more of these things so that we can constantly have an anchor when life throws us a curve.
Living a purposeful life simply means living to fulfill the reason why you were created.
- Without purpose, life has no meaning
- Without purpose, life becomes routine
- But with purpose, life is simplified and interesting
- Purpose gives life a direction—you know what to do and what not to do
- Purpose makes pain bearable.
Simply put, you were created to serve God. Please ask yourself, what does God want me to do with my life? We were not created to merely exist; you and I were created to fulfil some unique assignments within a limited period of time. Our gifts or talents can point us in the direction of our assignments. We have been endowed with some natural abilities from birth. 1 Peter 4:10 says: God has given each one of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kind of blessings…
You have been equipped with everything you need to live a godly life. We have been so endowed naturally and spiritually that if no one ever employs you, you have all that it takes to live a glorious life here on earth. Many studies have revealed that the average person possesses between 500 to 700 skills or abilities. Unfortunately many never tap into these abilities and eventually live ‘the beneath average life’ and die with all these gifts. No wonder, the graveyard is referred to as the richest place on earth because there lay a lot of unused dead potentials. There is no better time than now to start living meaningfully, becoming everything you were created to be. An authentic relationship with God is the beginning of fulfilment, the answer to all the question you can ever ask.