Sinedu was a B student on full scholarship at Harvard, with hopes for a career in medicine. She used the following quotation for her high school yearbook page: "Like the delicate beauty of a seashell, friendship is one of life's most precious treasures." Recently, however, the Boston Globe had a very different report of Sinedu. On May Sinedu Tadesse killed her roommate of two years and then committed suicide. What is not known is why a seemingly stable young woman with an obviously bright future would commit such a gruesome crime.
Many social scientists believe that the various pressures on young people to succeed in school, peer pressure, and the inevitable failure of some of them, are leading to significant increases in suicides among students. Some psychologists think that growing feelings of loneliness, rootlessness, and the meaninglessness of life are contributing to more suicides in industrialized nations. In the United States, for example, the suicide rate among those between the ages of 15 and 24 tripled between 1950 and 1980; suicide is now the third leading cause of death in this age group.
Suicide is an intentional and self-inflicted death. The tendency today is to view suicide in psychosocial rather than moral terms. Most social scientists agree that suicide is the result of complex psychological, and social causes. Psychiatrists, for example, have found deep depression to be common among those that commit suicide. Sociologists have found many other contributing personality and situational influences. Suicide is often used as an escape from painful circumstances or as an act of revenge on another person who is blamed for the suffering that led to the suicide. These feelings are sometimes revealed in suicide notes. The most common element involved in suicide, however, seems to be the person's perception that life is so painful that only death can provide relief. Losses or chronic pain, physical or emotional, may lead to a sense of personal helplessness to change life circumstances and to a general sense of hopelessness about any change, contributing to psychological "tunnel vision" in which death is perceived as the only option.
Though the world recognizes legitimate reasons for suicide, it is a sinful and demonic act. Parents as well as children must recognize the fact that our life is a wonderful gift from God. Children are entrusted to parents by God to provide them with a safe and secure environment -- the family. Here children should learn about God, what is true and false, and what is right and wrong. The crucial element of all healthy parent -- child relationships is the principle of balance between love and control. Each side of the scale must be maintained in a delicately poised, mutually corrective and complementary relationship. Unchecked by its counterpart, the scale can tip dangerously toward unhealthy extremes. Without love and affection, harsh discipline can crush a child's sensitive spirit. Conversely, love that is not balanced by reasonable limits leads to overprotection, permissiveness and chaos. A successful parenting formula must be warm, accepting, loving, and having clearly defined boundaries and controls based on the word of God.
The Bible teaches us that slavery to sin leads to death, but slavery to obedience leads to eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:12,13).
Suicide: Is There No Other Option?
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