When Someone in Debt Says: “I’ll Kill Myself”

By Karen O’Connor:

“If My Debt Overwhelms Me I’ll Just Kill Myself!”


Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I sat across from a pretty dark-haired young woman who appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She and I and others were in a financial planning seminar seated horseshoe fashion in front of the instructor. We were asked to go around the table introducing ourselves and sharing one thing about our financial circumstances that brought us into the room.

When it came to Melody (not her real name) she made the startling declaration that she was up to her waist in debt. Then she laughed and added, “But if my debt overwhelms me I’ll just kill myself.” I was stunned by how casual she was about the possibility of committing suicide. Her declaration shook me to the core. I couldn’t imagine money, of all things, having such a profound effect on a person that she’d give up her life rather than clean up her debt no matter how long it took.

If you’re in debt and ever had such a thought I hope you will consider the serious consequences you’d be leaving to those you love. Not only would they miss you but also they’d be stuck with your bills.

But more important, as the Bible says, “the love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.”

At this time of year when gift giving has become an overrated commercial enterprise, people throw themselves into debt in order to purchase toys and presents for those they love. One grandmother I spoke with recently told me the amount of money she’d spend on gifts for her grandkids the year before.

“I didn’t have it at the time so I put it all on my credit card, planning to pay it off by this year. But here I am still in debt and it’s time to give all over again.”

We talked for a while and I suggested she consider giving homemade presents from her kitchen—jam or jelly or cookies or home-baked bread—talents she was known for. Somehow she had sold herself short when it came to creating gifts with her own hands. But the more we talked the more excited she got about doing something simple, easy, and within her budget.

I wish I had been able to speak with the young woman at the financial planning meeting but she rushed off afterwards and I never saw her again. Suicide is never the answer to anything. God is the answer to everything!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” [Proverbs 3: 5-6 in the Bible].

It is never too late to start over, to turn to God in humility and repentance, asking for courage and guidance and wisdom. He will not fail you. He will call you his own.

Enjoy this inspiring YouTube video on how God helps us in times of trouble.