Guest Post by Joshua Burks
Less than one month ago, Netflix released a new TV series that millions would binge-watch in the weeks to follow. The series is called Thirteen Reasons Why. IMDB describes the movie with this paragraph: “(Thirteen Reasons Why) Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.”
This show captivates you from the beginning, and has you hoping that it’s all a lie, and that Hannah didn’t really end her own life. However, she does. It opens you to the world as most see it. A world full of anger, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness. In the series, Hannah gives “Thirteen Reasons Why” she chose suicide.
And although she gives an incredibly gripping story, that’s even tough to watch at times, I don’t think her thirteen reasons are good enough. In fact, I don’t think suicide is ever the answer. Here are my “Thirteen Reasons Why”-
- You are not alone.
According to a study done by Emory University, 8.3 million contemplated suicide in 2016. It is estimated that 18% of all high school students have considered suicide at some point in their life.
You’ve messed up. You have a past. You have regrets. We all do.
Don’t feel like you are fighting this battle alone. Other people are going through situations that are very similar. You are not alone.
- You have people in your corner.
Somebody is rooting for you. A teacher, a coach, a friend, a parent, a sibling, a youth pastor, or a pastor; someone is cheering for you. They may seem distant, but they are here for you. Don’t be afraid to talk to them.
- You have other options.
There are so many resources you have. Youth groups, churches, help groups, support groups; there are people who want to help you and love on your more than anything in the world.
Suicide in never an option. It’s quitting a game that you are supposed to win.
- Your life is bigger than right now.
I know. It’s so hard to see it now, but life has so much more than what we are blinded by right now. You have more to do. More to experience. More things to see. More people to meet. More love to give.
- Your pain won’t end when you die.
Believe it or not, your pain won’t magically disappear when you “end it all.” In fact, it will only intensify.
Your pain will transfer to your parents, your loved ones, and your friends. Although you would be looking for an escape from all of the pain, you would only be shifting that pain to others.
- Your suicide would only be the beginning.
What happens after we die? What then? Does it all just end?
The Bible says that our soul will go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell. It also says that the “wages” (or the “payment”) of our faults is death. Because of our sin, we deserve Hell. Everyone does. The Bible says, “For there is none righteous; not even one.”
When you choose to end it all, you could be entering into a world with more pain and agony than you could ever imagine. This intense pain lasts forever. It never ends and there is no escape.
- You are loved.
Perhaps it’s your parents, maybe its your siblings or your friends, or even a teacher or a youth pastor; Somebody definitely loves you. In fact, He has always loved you.
The Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God has loved you from the very beginning. He knows everything about you (even the stuff that you wish that He didn’t know) and He still loves you. And you know what’s even cooler? He will never stop loving you. His love for you have no end.
- You matter.
Just like you are right now. All of your faults, all of your blemishes, all of your failures… all of you matters.
You matter to God.
- You are valued.
That same God who loves you, thinks that you’re pretty special. He loves you so much that He wants to spend forever with you. The problem is that God is perfect, and well… we are not. But God didn’t let that stop Him. The Bible says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus (God Himself) saw your faults and decided to take the consequences for your faults so that you wouldn’t have to. He did all of that so you could be like Him.
He saw you to be so valuable that He died for your faults, so that you didn’t have to. You are valued.
- You are worthy.
Despite what you may think, this same God thinks that because of what He has done for you, that you are now worthy to be with Him forever in Heaven. You are worthy because He has claimed you as His own.
The Bible says “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” If you put your faith in Jesus to save you, He adopts you into his family. You are now royalty in God’s eyes.
- You are forgiven.
Quit living in the guilt of your faults. Quit living life looking through your rear view mirror. God can and will forgive you. All that you have to do is accept it!
Then when God looks at you, He sees Himself. He sees the payment that He made for you.
- You have a future.
Now that God has adopted you into his family, He has incredible plans for your life. He has so much for you to do. I wish that I could tell you all that you will get to experience. I wish you could see a glimpse of your future.
Although we cannot see your future, God can. And not only can God see it, He is going ahead of you and preparing the way for you. He wants to use you to do incredible things with Him. He wants you to share the same hope you’ve found in Him with someone else.
You. That’s right, you are the thirteenth reason.
YOU… with all of your screw ups, all of your failures, and all of your faults.
Think about it- YOU are loved. YOU are valued. YOU are worthy. YOU have a future. YOU matter. YOU have hope.
Although we see ourselves as unworthy, God values us.
Suicide is never the answer. It won’t end anything. What you are looking for isn’t found in a relationship, a career, or in a social life. It’s only found in God.
“Jesus said unto them: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”