Thinking About the End
Bible Reading: Colossians 4:2-6
Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone. Colossians 4:6
THE WAITRESS arrived with their drinks. Krystal stirred her Diet Coke gently with a straw as she figured out what to say. ”I’m worried about my friend Dannie,” she said at last. Across the table from her were Doug and Elena, youth leaders at Krystal’s church. “Her parents aren’t Christians, but she says she’s trusted Christ as her Savior. But she’s acting strange.”
“Is Dannie in some kind of trouble?” Doug asked.
Krystal sighed. “I don’t know for sure. She’s been really distant for the last few weeks. And I have noticed a few other things about her that worry me.”
Doug leaned closer. “Like what?”
“Well, things that make me wonder if Dannie is thinking about suicide.”
Elena reached across the table to hold Krystal’s hand. ”I’m sorry you have to deal with this issue again after what you have been through, Krystal. This must be difficult for you. How can we help?”
Krystal felt tears fill her eyes. She remembered all too clearly her own bout with depression two years ago when she gulped down a fistful of sleeping pills. But Doug and Elena had been there at just the right moment. Krystal would be forever grateful for the love and concern this couple had shown in her darkest hour.
Maybe you, like Krystal, have noticed behavior in a friend that disturbs you. You can’t quite put your finger on the problem, but you are wondering ifyour friend has had thoughts of suicide. Because suicide is the second leading cause of death among students today, you can’t shrug off your concern. A staggering sixty-five hundred teenagers die each year at their own hands-that’s one every hour and twenty minutes!
Your friend may be entertaining thoughts of suicide if he or she is down or depressed most of the time, often talks and asks questions about death, gives away possessions as if preparing for death, is often fatigued and wants to sleep all the time, or complains about not being able to sleep. You should also be concerned about a friend who takes dangerous risks, such as driving recklessly or playing with knives or guns.
If your friend is exhibiting potentially suicidal behavior, now is the time to do something to make sure he or she doesn’t follow through with that impulse! Talk to a trusted adult, like your youth pastor or a counselor at school, and ask for help.
REFLECT: Do you know anyone who is at risk of suicide? How could you work with the adults around you to help?
PRAY: Ask God today to help you minister to your hurting friends.