When the Burden of Debt Drives One’s Thoughts to Suicide

By Karen O’Connor:

Do you have a burden of debt that feels overwhelming?

 

Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About thirty years ago I sat in a meeting one Sunday afternoon with a group of people trying to figure out what to do about their financial debt and the trouble it was causing themselves and the people they loved.

One young woman about twenty-five years of age admitted to an amount of credit card debt that was greater than her annual salary. When it was her turn to share she took a deep breath and said with a tremor in her voice, “If I can’t control this habit then I’ll just commit suicide and I won’t have to think about money anymore.”

Heads turned and whispers rippled through the room. When debt drives one’s thoughts to suicide, that’s pretty bad, I thought. Could it happen to me?

I left the meeting that day shaken to the core and committed to getting my own debt under control. In my case it meant finding a way to earn more so I wouldn’t rely on credit cards to carry me from one month to the next when I ran short.

I applied for a part-time teaching position and won the job. Within months I had eliminated my small debt and was on my way to living debt-free. I don’t know what happened to the woman I mentioned. She dropped out of our group and I never saw her again. But her words of despair certainly got my attention and changed the way I earned and managed my own finances.

Over the months and years following that somber day I learned what the Bible has to say about money and the principles have guided me ever since:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other . . . (Romans 13: 7:8)

. . . the borrower is the slave of the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

With God on your side you cannot miss. The Lord says:

“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:31 in the Bible).

Ask for his help and you will receive it. He will guide you to classes, books, and support groups so you too can manage your finances responsibly and live free of debt.

Take a look at this YouTube video with Joyce Meyer on living debt-free:

Also Dave Ramsey suggests reducing your burden of debt using the Debt Snowball idea: eliminate your smallest debt first, so you feel some measure of success right off and stick with a plan to eventually get rid of all your debts.

I Feel Worthless: A Suicidal Man Calls Upon God

By Karen Kosman:

 Here is one man’s story about how he went from feeling worthless to feeling hopeful and finding a new life.

 

I met Terry several years ago, as my husband and I were leaving our doctors office.  Terry worked in the same building as our doctor. He’d spotted the Christian symbol on our car. As he approached us he smiled and said, “I’m a Christian, too.”

Today, I believe meeting Terry was a divine appointment.  I shared with Terry about being a Christian writer, and that I was working on a book about suicide. He smiled and asked, “Can you wait? I want to give you something I wrote.”

We waited as he went to his office and brought back his personal story about depression.

***

Terry’s story:

As I climbed into my car I thought, I can’t deal with life anymore. When I drove towards the freeway, memories of my heart attack flooded my mind. I glanced out the window at the slow moving traffic. I glanced up at the dark storm clouds overhead and spiraled down even deeper into my depression. I thought, I have no future. The only answer is to end it all. It’s two in the afternoon. My wife and daughter aren’t home yet. I’ll hook up our 18-foot travel trailer and split for some secluded spot in the desert.

After my heart attack, I’d lost my position as senior lieutenant assistant chief of police. I’d worked hard, and had been selected as one of the “top ten cops, in the entire US. One position away from being at the top of my chosen profession, it all came to an end. I felt worthless as a man. I dabbled in several areas of employment, for a while I worked as a private investigator. Soon I learned that being a PI didn’t come close to the satisfaction of being a cop. I began to drink to numb the pain.

I went to polygraph school and became a lie detector technician. However, changes in the polygraph profession severely cut back business. Bills became overdue, including a foreclosure notice on our home.  I felt worthless as a man. My family would be better off without me.

Suddenly, another memory flooded my mind; at work I’d overheard two of my co-workers discussing something about the Bible. Curious, I walked out of my office and joined them.

Steve asked, “Terry, do you know Jesus?”

“I’ve never been real religious.”

“Terry, it’s not about religion, it’s a personal relationship with the Son of God, replied Tom.”

Tears streamed down my face as those memories faded. As deep emotions surfaced I burst into uncontrollable sobs. I cried God I need you. I’ve blown it. I can’t go another step without You!”

In that moment something happened—something real—something I’ll never forget.  Just when I thought I’d go over the edge, a tangible calm came over me. Inside my car the air became comfortably warm and cozy: I felt my heavy burdens begin to lift. For the first time in more than two years, my fear vanished. I felt at peace. Within seconds I understood, “God you’re real!”

With my heart screaming for forgiveness, I cried, “God,  I surrender my life to You.”

I share my story in the hope that my experience will reach others who have given up on life and who need God in their lives. Eighteen years have passed and I don’t regret one single moment of my life in Jesus. You won’t either.

Here’s an encouraging verse for you:

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV Bible)

Are you feeling worthless, yourself? God created you for a purpose and loves you. You are of great value to Him.