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Will I go to Hell if I Commit Suicide?

Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

A lot of people wonder, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?” This is an important topic, with strong opinions on either side of the issue.

Those who think people who kill themselves will go to hell, believe this because a person who kills themselves isn’t trusting God to get them through their difficulties and therefore may not really have faith in God.

Still, there are other people who are convinced that the jury is still out, as God is in the business of forgiving all who ask.

Both of these arguments seem to make sense, so which is it?  Part of the mystery is because most people who have experienced hell after a suicide attempt don’t like to talk about it. But one exception to this rule is Tamara Laroux, who when she was a teenager, tried to kill herself by shooting herself in the chest.

Did she go to hell?  Yes.

Did she stay there?  No.

God in fact rescued her from hell, but to find out the why or how, you’ll have to watch her explain what happened in the YouTube video below. Her story has a twist you won’t expect. However, Tamara’s story certainly sheds a lot of light on the question, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

So what we’ve learned from Tamara is that hell is real, and sadly, people really do exist in torment there.  But it seems God has set up a way to escape hell, in the here and now,  that has more to do with God’s grace and forgiveness when it is sought through the sacrifice of Jesus.

If you are reading this article, because you’re considering killing yourself, here are a few rules about God you should know:

  1. God loves you and does not want you to kill yourself as he has a special plan for your life.
  2. The enemy (the devil) wants to tempt you with self-inflicted death so that you can’t fulfill God’s plan for your life.
  3. You can receive God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins (through the work of Jesus who died for your sins) if you only ask him.  Click  here  to learn more about this:
  4. God will also help you walk through, then eventually walk out of your pain, if you but trust him.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to become a sacrifice to Satan, especially if you are not sure where you stand with God.
  6. Choose life – Despite how it seems, God can really take your broken life, no matter how broken it is, and turn it into a miracle.
  7. Live and dare God to show you what he can do with your life.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV

If you are hurting and  need to talk to someone, call a suicide hotline.

 

The Robin Williams Question

463px-Robin_Williams_2011aLinda Evans Shepherd

I want to answer the Robin Williams Question that so many are struggling with;

If Robin William’s died, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with Robin…

Depression is like a living monster which is built on lies that parade through your mind; lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are.  Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster said in a recent article which addressed Robin, “I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride.  Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.”

I applaud Dr. Abow’s wise words, but I’d like to further shine the truth on the lies that come with depression.  They are from the pit of hell.  We know Satan (who is real) has come to steal, kill, and destroy the ones that God has gifted with the most purpose and potential.  First he blinds them to their future and hope, then he whispers lies into their hearts.

Do not believe those lies.

If I could have said one thing to Robin prior to his death, I would have told him, “You are loved and have brought joy to so many and if you choose to live, you will continue to bring joy to others and even find happier moments yourself.  Plus, if you live, you will not inspire others to give up on life. Your death will become a tragedy for many families.”

The sad truth is that others have been influenced by Robin’s death and chosen death as well.  Robin could have chosen life and walked out of his deep depression to experience more of his God given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace.  Sure, he may have had to struggle from time to time, but he could have worked to manage his depression and continued to live.  The problems he may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, or even mental illness, could have been lived-through.  These struggles could have been met through the strength of the very God Robin believed in.

If Robin had only trusted in the God who loved him, if he had pushed back against his depression and called 911 or gone to the emergency room, he would have lived through the darkness to find life once again.

Robin is gone but you are here, and I’d like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don’t do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.

As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

Like Robin, you do not have to give into the temptation of death.  You can choose to live.  Just as the Lord told his people,

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Live!  God loves you and will get you through the darkness.

If you would like to know more about God’s love for you, go to:  GodTest.com

Suicide Loss Book Translated into Polish (Too Soon to Say Goodbye)

News from our blog writers: the book  Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide by Susan Titus Osborn, Karen L. Kosman, and  Jeenie Gordon has been translated into Polish, and  has also been featured in a Polish magazine.

Too-Soon-to-Say-Goodbye-190x300

Here is Susan’s Q&A with the editor of the Polish magazine, in English:

Questions on the topic of suicide: (Pytania do tematu: SAMOBÓJSTWO)

How does the Christianity approach the issue/topic of suicide? (Wjaki sposób chrześcijaństwo podchodzi do tematu samobójstwa?)

Already in this new century there have been more than 5 million suicide deaths worldwide. Each year approximately one million people in the world die by suicide. This toll is higher than the total number of world deaths each year from war and homicide combined. Suicide is an important public health problem in many countries, and is a leading cause of death amongst teenagers and young adults.  In addition, it is estimated that there are from 10-20 times as many suicide attempts as suicide deaths.

Sadly, suicide seems to carry a stigma with it.  Often people don’t know what to say to someone who seems depressed, and in the aftermath of a suicide they often don’t know how to comfort and help those left behind. However, as Christians it is important to try to help those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A terrible misconception is that those who take their own lives will go to hell. There is no biblical basis for this wrong idea, and those who are left behind need to be made aware of this.

Does the Christian community pressure people who struggle with suicide thoughts?  (Czy chrześcijańska społeczność wywiera presję na osoby zmagające się z myślami samobójczymi?)

No, they try to get at the root of the problem and see what is causing the person to be suicidal. The individual may be depressed, may have a chemical imbalance, or may not be able to handle certain problems or circumstances.  Often professional help is needed to help the person, and those close to them should make sure they seek this help and follow through.

Why do people try to take off their lives? What pushes them to it? (Dlaczego ludzie targają się na swoje życie? Co ich do tego popycha?)

It is said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Often the decision to take one’s own life is a momentary, emotional decision made in a split second.  It may be fueled by circumstances such as the loss of a job, a divorce, or serious health issues.

What should we do when someone is trying to take the life off himself? (Co robić gdy członek rodziny próbuje targać się na swoje życie?)

First, if someone you know appears to be depressed and is contemplating suicide, take that person seriously. Listen to what they say. Take the initiative to ask that person what they are planning, but don’t argue with them. Rather, let the person know that you are listening, you care, and you want to understand them.

Encourage a suicidal or depressed person to seek the help of a mental health professional. Because the person feel so hopeless that they may not think it’s possible to be helped, you’ll probably have to be persistent and go with that person.

If your loved one appears to be in imminent danger of committing suicide, do not leave them alone! Remove any weapons or drugs within their reach.  Also suggest that they seek the help of a pastor, a professional counselor, or a psychologist. [Are there hotlines in Poland they can call?]

During treatment, be supportive. Help the person remember to take antidepressants or other prescribed medications and to continue any other therapy that’s been prescribed.

Does compassion takes a big role In the process of healing the depression or bipolar disorder? (Czy współczucie odgrywa ważną rolę w procesie leczenia depresji lub choroby dwubiegunowej?)

The best solution is a combination of compassion and professional help that may require medication.  Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder.

People who reach out to those who are hurting are “God’s angels on earth with skin on.”  Sadly, many people with bipolar disorder and clinical depression take their own lives.  Those who are suicidal need to be under the care of a physician or psychiatrist to obtain the proper medicines that can help them.

What is the difference between the professional secular and Christian help (regarding suicide and depression? (Jaka jest różnica między profesjonalną pomocą świecką a chrześcijańską?)

Both Christian and secular professionals can listen and give excellent advice. If they are medical doctors, they can prescribe medication that can help. However, only Christian professionals can offer the hope that Christ brings.  They can suggest the person pray the following prayer:  Jesus, I’m hurting and want to have a personal relationship with You. I ask that You forgive me for all my sin and cleanse me. Please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. I give You control and ask You to guide and protect me through the difficult days ahead. Please bestow on me the peace that only You can give. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

What are the crimson tears? (Co to są szkarłatne łzy?) p. 148 in English;   174 in Polish

“The crimson tears” represent a teenager’s struggle with depression, pain, and addiction to a point where she was suicidal and cutting herself.  A story in the book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye, tells Kallie’s story of ending up in a mental hospital at age 15 after attempting to take her life.  God healed her in that hospital, and now her desire is to help other teens who are suffering from addictions and depression.  In her words, she wants them to “receive restoration—the crimson tears can stop—but only with the love and the life that Christ provides.”

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old in the US. Among young people aged 10-14 years, the rate has doubled in the last two decades.

How does the environment react to depression? (Jak otoczenie reaguje na depresję?)

Depression is often misunderstood by society, and the public’s reaction hurts the person who is depressed more than helping them.  People say things like, “You’ll get over it in time,” or ‘Just get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be fine.” However, clinical depression cannot so easily be dismissed. Those who are suffering need profession help and often medication to recover.

Is the depression caused by demons? (Czy depresję wywołują demony?)

As in the case of Kallie’s story, as well as many other stories in Too Soon to Say Goodbye, demons can seem real to people suffering from clinical depression.  However, experts say the demons are more likely caused by a psychological disorder than by Satan. Nevertheless, it is important we never underestimate the power of Satan!  Kallie literally heard voices in her head tearing her down and encouraging her to take pills and cut herself.  Then one day she heard a calmer voice, asking her to turn to God. She cried out, “O God, I need help so desperately. Please, transform me…. Please, God, I just want to feel alive.”

Can just the prayer help in depression? (Czy sama modlitwa potrafi pomóc w depresji?)

Prayer is a wonderful place to start. When we turn to God, He listens. However he also speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and He reaches us through other Christians, who may be family members, friends, pastors, professional counselors, or medical doctors.  Once again in Kallie’s words, “God furnishes something tremendous. He is able to resuscitate broken souls and create wholeness. His love is not a temporary high but resides permanently inside you.”

My prayer is that all the Kallies of the world can find hope, peace, and a will to live through developing a personal relationship with God.

Publisher’s Note and Warning:  We believe people who trust in God, through Jesus will go to heaven when they die.  If you are wondering if you know how to trust God in this way, please take our test at www.GodTest.com.  If you are suicidal, we advise you to give God a chance to help you through your pain, by trusting even your pain to him.

For more help, please see our articles:

Will I Go to Hell if I Commit Suicide  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/will-i-go-to-hell-if-i-commit-suicide/

Our Posts for the Depressed and Suicidal  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/our-posts-for-the-depressed-and-suicidal/

With this suicide loss book translated into Polish we hope healing and help is found. Our prayers go out to those now reading this helpful book in Polish.

Hope and Encouragement from Hot Apple Cider

From N. J. Lindquist:

Excerpt from A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider (free book through Dec 2013 as a special gift for our site visitors or anyone who could use a little hope and encouragement. All 50 stories. Download Now.)

The story below is from the book A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, with N.J. Lindquist.

The story below is from the book A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, with N.J. Lindquist.

Be Still and Know by Glynis M. Belec:

Throughout my cancer journey, “God signs” proved that He was orchestrating my days. In one instance, we arrived home after a particularly grueling appointment in London. Dr. Lanvin, my new oncologist, had checked all the reports, confirmed my diagnosis through examination, and then briefed me about the upcoming surgery. So when we arrived home that day, my emotions were fragile. Although I had never played the “Why Me?” game, blaming God for allowing this to happen to me, I was starting to wonder about God’s plan for my life.

As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed my phone flashing red, indicating messages were waiting. A voice I barely recognized said, “Hello, Glynis. It’s Sue.”

I hadn’t heard from Sue for three years or more. We’d been acquaintances through drama ministry and school functions, and when we got together we always had a lovely time, but somehow we’d lost touch.

The recording continued. “So why did God wake me up at three a.m. and tell me that I should be praying for you? How are you doing? We haven’t talked for ages. Give me a call when you get a minute.”

I was floored. I quickly punched in her number. We chatted for a couple of minutes, chastising each other for not calling sooner.

“Are you okay?” she inquired.

“I have cancer.”

Silence.

“I had cancer, too,” she replied quietly.

I burst into tears. Sue and I spent the next hour talking and sharing. She encouraged me, promised to pray for me, and assured me I could call her any time. She also reminded me that as a 12-year cancer survivor, she was living proof that cancer can be overcome.

I got off the phone and cried again. This time my tears were not out of self-pity. They were tears of joy and gratitude for God. He had known my needs and was putting people and circumstances in place so that I could see His mighty hand.

I remembered God’s nudging to write it all down, so my bedside journal became a therapeutic outlet. Words oozed through ink as I penned my thoughts and my day-to-day struggles with everything from fear, to spiritual questions, to relationships, and more. I started to realize what God had meant by the term “fodder.”

If there was any doubt about Who was in control in my life, it was completely obliterated the night before my surgery, May 27, 2008. My journal entry reads:

This is it. My final sleep before surgery. I am ready. I am Yours. I am prepared to be still and truly know that You are God! I am in awe at the confirmation that You have placed before me (and Gilles) this very night. What was the day’s scripture verse in the Our Daily Bread devotional for Tuesday, May 27? “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). God—You rock! You know this is my favourite scripture verse. I love the soft, subtle ways You find to communicate with me, Lord—especially tonight. How blessed am I to know You in this heavenly way. How can anyone deny Your existence? You are real. You are living. You are in control…

Note: Please do not copy and reuse this story without permission.

 

Learn more about Hot Apple Cider Books

Click here if you’d like to read (a gift to you through the end of December) more encouraging stories from people who have struggled but now offer hope: Download Now

Divorcing Her to Marry One of Her Best Friends

By Linda W. Rooks:

She was stunned to learn her husband was divorcing her to marry one of her best friends.

She considered suicide. Then she found hope.

 

Rock to cling to by Linda Rooks

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. (Psalm 18:2)

 

His words struck her ears and reverberated through her head as if she had just stepped into the middle of an exploding bombshell.  Georgia saw her husband’s mouth still moving, but a black cloud was descending upon her and the sound of his voice echoed through the chambers of her mind like shots from a cannon.

He’s leaving me. Divorcing me to marry one of my best friends!  They both plan to get divorced, then married to each other.

Georgia asked him questions, but the hardness of his answers made her freeze.  She looked into blue eyes, now dark and cold.  Who was this man?  Where was the man she had married? How could her husband leave her, like her own father had left her as a child? And worse, how could he be divorcing her to marry one of her best friends?

She felt the flesh of her heart tearing apart.  A crushing pain gripped her as if a vice were squeezing the life from her. She could hardly breathe.

After he left, she stumbled out to her car, enveloped in a darkness that shut down her mind and embedded one dark desire into her heart.  “I don’t want to live.  I can’t live.  I must escape this pain.”  As if caught up in a death spiral, her mind raced back to the memory of a friend who had committed suicide years before.  It sounded simple.  She could escape the pain, escape the horror of what was happening to her life.  She would do what her friend had done.

But Georgia was not as skilled as her friend in making the preparations.  After trying her best, she finally climbed into her car, sat at the wheel and in her anguish called out the only name that came to her, “Jesus.  Jesus, if you’re as real as I thought you were,” she cried, “you know I’m not going to make it through this night.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

After a few minutes of sobbing and calling out his name, she felt a peace pouring down on her like a light gleaming through the darkness.  The darkness released her mind and the light swept in.  Jesus would show her the way.  She didn’t have to take this deadly route.

After Georgia found out that her husband was divorcing her to marry one of her best friends, her pain did not immediately go away after that night, but in the midst of it, she felt the love of Jesus holding her up as never before. Whenever Georgia felt desperate, she called out the name of Jesus, and God became more and more real to her. She immediately had a hunger to read the Bible, and when she opened it up, it was like God spoke to her personally. She and the children began reading the book of Job. Here she read about a man who lost everything and suffered the same anguish and doubts she was feeling. But he continued to worship God anyway.  Eventually, God blessed Job with more than he had before.

Today, years later, despite her devastating experience, Georgia wouldn’t trade where she is spiritually for anything.  The circumstances that tore her apart brought her a deeper love and a deeper joy than she would have ever known otherwise.  When others disappointed her, God was always there, providing her with what she needed in unexpected ways.  As He promised, Jesus has never left her nor forsaken her. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

The name of Jesus carries enormous power when we call on His name.  When our heart cries out to Him. He hears us and surrounds us with His presence.  Jesus is the lover of our soul. He longs to be near us.  He longs to comfort us and give us His peace.  Scripture tells us that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:7).

You might not understand it, but His love and peace can undergird you in your pain.  Just call out His name.  Let your heart reach out to Him. He will become a rock to cling to when you feel you are being enveloped in currents of tragedy and adversity.

Just like Georgia felt when she found out the terrible news about the betrayal of her husband and friend, you may feel like life is not worth living.  You may just want to escape the pain, but Jesus loves you and has a plan for you.  He will never leave you when you call out His name. So right now, call out to Him.  “Jesus!”  Let Him heal your heart.

 

To My Friend

By PeggySue Wells

I want to say to my friend:

When I’m feeling despondent, it can be difficult for those around me to know what to say. Or what to do. Family members and friends wonder how they can lift my spirit. And even though I have journeyed to the pit of depression and made my way back to better emotional ground, my encouragement is not always adequate to uplift my friend who is having thoughts of suicide.

But I want to say to my friend, I understand.
The situation is akin to being tucked tight inside an oyster shell. Depression and thoughts of suicide insulate and isolate me from the world. I yearn for connection with others to satisfy my loneliness but can’t seem to escape the confines of this melancholy. Nor can those caring people around me penetrate the despair that encapsulates my heart. Closed up inside this formidable oyster shell like a crustacean, I keep my pearls hidden. That inner part that is the unique me designed and created by God for fellowship and interaction, lies still and hidden from the world. Locked away from the community I need and that needs me.

Pearls photo by Maggie Smith

Pearls by Maggie Smith via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Singer/songwriter Colton Dixon had the same experience. His friend was feeling suicidal and Colton longed to help. How could he communicate hope through the hard shell of despair that encompassed the heart of his friend? His gentle song, You Are is his message to his friend.

And I want to say to my friend, it’s hope for you.

Listen and watch here.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM8hxE-j4T8

Tell your friend: Live, love, and hope. I want you to live. You matter to me. Then offer some resources so the burden isn’t all on you.
The National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 1-800-273-8255 and so are encouraging articles from this website and Finding God Daily.
Let others come along side and help you to help your friend. None of us should walk this path alone. God loves you and your friend.
PeggySue Wells is the author of more than a dozen titles including Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

Effects of a Suicide Note

By Susan Osborn:

Occasionally, a suicide note such as Angie’s in the following story is left. Sometimes, it is a last attempt for vengeance. It appears Angie had probably been jealous of her sister for years—jealous of her good grades and desire to earn a college education. The note caused Carol to drop out of college and to go into a deep depression. Only God’s intervention can explain how Carol put her life back together again.

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Choices

Wanda J. Burnside

In one of my college classes, a girl kept staring at me. I couldn’t help but notice how thin and fragile she looked. I tried to make eye contact with her, but she always turned away. After a while, I decided to ignore her so I sat on the other side of the room.

One day after class, she stepped in front of me. Clutching her stack of books close to her chest, she said, “Hi! I’m Carol.”

“Hi! I’m Wanda,” I replied.

She smiled, then looked away.            

Hey, Wanda!” I heard someone call out, “Are you going to the student union with us for lunch?

I turned to see a group of my friends from class motioning to me. “Yeah, I’m coming,” I answered.

Go on,” said Carol. Don’t let me stop you.”

No. Please come with us. Let’s talk,” I said.

Well, I don’t know… she hesitated and then continued, I usually…

Wanda, come on and bring your friend,” said Charles.

So we ran to catch up with the others. My friends accepted Carol, and from that day on, she went everywhere with us. She transformed from someone painfully shy to someone outgoing. Everybody saw the difference in her. Even the professors made comments about her budding personality.

One day, a group of us decided to walk to a new restaurant across the street from the campus. As we reached the parking lot, up drove a shiny red convertible. “Carol!” shouted a pretty girl with flowing hair. She got out of the car. “Carol!”

Carol stood frozen with a look of fear and sheer desperation on her face. Her hands began to shake. Her eyes filled with tears, and for several moments she remained silent.

The other girl wore colorful, tight-fitting clothes that clung to her curves. Plus she had a beautiful, flawless, complexion.              

“Carol! Today’s my birthday! Remember? My friends are coming over tonight, and you promised to decorate for my party! Why are you here? I told Mama you’d ruin everything for me. You, your good grades, and your school!” she yelled.

This is my sister, Angie,” Carol softly said with tears rolling down her face. Excuse me, everyone.” Then they got into the car and drove away.

“Carol never mentioned her sister,” Charles commented. “They’re so opposite.”                       

“Angie is a fox, and Carol’s so skinny!” Terry laughed.           

“Hey guys. Stop! Carol is our friend,” said Barbara.     

Two weeks passed, and Carol had not returned to school. Several of us tried to phone her, but no one could reach her. We all wondered what happened.

One evening while doing my homework at home, my mother called me to the phone.

I listened to a distraught voice. “I’m Carol’s mom. My daughter…she died. Life isn’t the same without my beautiful daughter,” she cried.

“Carol died?” I asked.

Another voice came on the phone. “Hello, Wanda.”

“Carol. Carol, is it you? What is going on?”

“My sister, Angie…she killed herself. She drove into our garage, rolled up the windows, and left the engine running. She also left a long letter—one that blamed me. Angie said I had everything—friends, good grades, and a boyfriend.”

I couldn’t believe it. Angie, dead?

Shortly after our phone conversation, Carol dropped out of school. We later learned she was hospitalized for depression. None of us knew what to do. Carol’s absence created a void in all our lives.

A year later, Carol called me. “Hi, Wanda, this is Carol.”

“Carol,” I hesitated, “how are you?”

“I’m fine. I’m living in California and attending college. I’m also engaged.”

“Carol, you sound happy. I’m so glad for you.” I continued, “We’ve all missed you.”

“Yeah, Wanda, I miss all of you, too. You know, I turned to God. My sister’s jealousy and hatred caused me a lot of pain. Yet, I’ll always miss her. God helped me to accept the unacceptable. Angie chose to die. I choose to live.”

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, there are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How can having self-confidence stop bullying?

 

Nothing attracts a bully like lack-of-confidence.  In fact, showing good self-confidence is a great defense against being bullied.  But how do you get self-confidence?  Do you find it in the mirror or  in the words of your peers?

That would be nice, but that won’t always work, especially if you dislike some of your features, or if your friends (or non-friends) sometimes tease or harass you. But no worries, you can still show self-confidence to stop bullies with these 5 simple steps.

 1. Know that You are Loved

Confidence cannot be combed into place or wiped away with blemish cream.  In fact, you can be confident no matter what you look like, especially  if you know this one little secret — God loves you.  (Yes, there really is a God and he really does care about you.)  You can learn more about how to have a relationship with God at:  www.GodTest.com.  But before you  check out the ‘test’ or helps on that website, try saying the following out loud.

God loves me and if God loves me, I love me too.

Was that hard to say?  If it was, try saying it again.  Next, try writing it down on a post-it note or note card and put it where you can see it several times a day.  For the more you see it and say it, the easier it will be to believe it.  This believing will have  a big pay-off because the more you believe it, the more confidence you will have.

2. Look Confident

You can learn to project confidence even when you don’t feel confident, but it may take practice.  A recent article reported, “People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.”

This may mean you need to practice in front of a mirror so that you will learn to walk with confidence, head up, as you stride purposefully.  You may need to practice how you sit in a chair so you don’t look small or afraid, but instead look sure of yourself.  You may even need to practice how you smile and say hello to others.  Notice how others who seem confident greet others and take some pointers.  Practice speaking in a clear, calm voice when you are in private so you can do so when you are with others.

3. Learn to Walk Around a Bully as Well as His Reach

What are the best words to say to a bully who confronts you?  Imagine this; with confidence you say in reply to a snide remark, “Have a nice day,” or “See you later.” Next, calmly change seats, step out of line, or just walk away.

4. Don’t be afraid to say, “Stop, I don’t Like That.”

If someone is physically tapping, kicking, or hitting you say, “Stop. I don’t like that,” and say it loudly.  Try practicing this with your hands on your hips, with a clear firm voice.  This practice will help you be ready if you really need say it to a bully.  If that time should come and more help is needed, go get an adult.

5. Take a Stand For Yourself

Practice telling yourself the opposite of a remark meant to hurt or insult you.  I found good advice on how to do this in a great article in Kid Power which advices,  “If someone says, ‘I don’t like you,’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I like myself.’ If someone says, ‘You are stupid’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I’m smart.’ If someone says, ‘I don’t want to play with you’ then you can throw those words away and say, ‘I will find another friend.’”

For more help, watch what teen Macbarbie has to say about how to get self-confidence, stop bullies, and develop inner-beauty.

 

Support for the Unemployed and Depressed (Suicidal)

By Karen O’Connor:


Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writing in the New York Times Sunday Review:

“The prospects for the re-employment of older workers deteriorate sharply the longer they are unemployed . . . ” This is all the more reason to support the unemployed and depressed who threaten suicide.

The authors referred in their column to a paper by the economists Daniel Sullivan and Till von Wachter.

“A recent study found that a 10 percent increase in the unemployment rate (say from 8 to 8.8 percent) would increase the suicide rate for males by 1.47 percent. Assuming a link of that scale, the increase in unemployment would lead to an additional 128 suicides per month in the United States.”

The authors urge policy makers to recognize this emergency, and to fashion a comprehensive re-employment policy that focuses on the specific needs of the long-term unemployed. “. . . spend money to help expand public and private training programs with proven track records; expand entrepreneurial opportunities by increasing access to small-business financing; reduce government hurdles to the formation of new businesses; and explore subsidies for private employers who hire the long-term unemployed.”

How can we as individuals support support the unemployed who threaten suicide. over their jobless state?

Author Jessica Miller-Merrell in a column on blogging4jobs.com suggests the following:

  • Be Supportive.  There are more than 27.3 million unemployed (via SHRM.org) out there many of whom have exhausted their unemployment benefits or given up altogether.  Provide them an ear to listen before your mouth suggests to them a solution.
  • Help a Job Seeker.  Offer to evaluate a resume or provide mock interview feedback. By giving the job seeker a moment of your time, you provide hope and help.
  • Treat Them with Dignity.  Job seekers who are displaced and out of work are people too.  Talk to them. Get to know them, and remember that more than 27.3 million are unemployed.

It’s the little things that matter.  Meeting your friend for coffee just to check in, helping them update their LinkedIn profile, or calling just say hello.  I promise there is life after unemployment.”

And more than ever, the unemployed need our prayers and spiritual support. These verses from the Bible can be a start on the road from suicides among the unemployed, to the road of hope in God.

Anyone who is among the living has hope. Ecclesiastes 9:4

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame. Psalm 25:3

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:18, 19

View and share this excellent YouTube video from Joel Osteen, “God is in Control.”

Sexual Abuse from a Trusted Coach (Olympian Kayla Harrison)

By Dianne E. Butts:

Kayla Harrison, on having been sexually abused by her former coach and overcoming suicidal thoughts.

 

 

Image from Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kayla Harrison started judo at six years old when her mother, Jeannie Yazell, a black belt, introduced her to the sport. She showed promise, winning two national titles before her 15th birthday. But behind the scenes, she was being sexually manipulated and abused by her judo coach, and that sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide.

The abuse started when Kayla was 13.

An article in the New York Times online, “For Judo Champion, a Painful Path to Gold” by Campbell Robertson revealed that “sexual contact led to sexual intercourse over a period of years, on trips to Venezuela, Russia and Estonia, until she was 16.”

In an article in The Telegraph (www.Telegraph.co.uk) titled “London 2012 Olympics: US Judoka Kayla Harrison overcomes horror of sexual abuse to aim for gold,” by Ian Chadband, Kayla said:

“When I was young, he would say, ‘We have to keep this between us or we will get into trouble’ and, honestly, as I got older, I was pretty brainwashed. I knew it was wrong but I thought I loved him. And I thought he loved me.’”

After three years, Kayla confided in her friend Aaron, who told her mother. Jeannie Yazell then “smashed out the coach’s car windows with a baseball bat” according to the NY Times article.

After Kayla exposed her coach as an abuser, she confronted him in court. Daniel Doyle was sentenced to ten years in prison and banned from the sport.

“I couldn’t look in the mirror and had no self-esteem. Now I can’t imagine not speaking up against that. It’s so wrong and I don’t want others to have to suffer what I did,” Kayla told The Telegraph. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned through all this is that you’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. And though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say ‘I won’t play victim’.”

Going for the gold in the Olympics kept her going. Her mother teamed her up with coach Jimmy Pedro, who helped her overcome the trauma of abuse and make the Olympic team. Her mother told the NY Times, “‘We just felt like she just had to get back to what she knew how to do… She could have control over what went on on the mat.’”

On August 2, 2102, Kayla won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.

But that’s not all. Kayla is now engaged to Aaron Handy, the friend she turned to for help. He’s a firefighter now. After the Olympics Kayla may return home to take the E.M.T. test and continue the process of becoming a firefighter herself.

Sexual abuse led Olympian Kayla Harrison to think about suicide. But she overcame abuse and suicidal thoughts to become a Gold Medal Olympian with a future filled with love, marriage, and a meaningful career. You can overcome your circumstances too, and have a future filled with hope.