Question:My friend committed suicide. Obviously, I wish he wouldn't have taken his own life, but I'm having a hard time with the idea that it was a sin. Can you help me? And how can I look for danger signs with friends in the future?
I am very sorry your friend committed suicide. Not only was your friend in a great deal of emotional pain and lack of hope, but as you know it has caused an unbelievable amount of pain and confusion to all who knew your friend. Your friend was deeply troubled. The word "to sin" literally means in the language of the Bible (Greek), "to miss the mark." The Bible is clear that all of us sin. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Compared to the grace and perfection of God, all of us sin, including your friend who committed suicide. I wouldn't focus on the question of whether or not suicide is sin, but rather concentrate on living a life radically committed to God so that the hopelessness of a person thinking about suicide will not have to do such a permanent and violent act on themselves. Some experts say that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide is not the answer to dealing with our problems. Although a majority of people claim to have thoughts about suicide, with the right help they can overcome this wrong thinking and live an abundant life on Earth.
I would suggest you type in "suicide prevention" on an Internet search engine and you will find excellent information on suicide prevention. If you or anyone reading this answer ever feels like they would like to kill themselves, know that you or they are not alone and that there is help. It is a conversation with a counselor who is a phone call away, or call a suicide hotline. Millions of people have had suicidal thoughts, and millions of people have received the help they needed to live a great life. It takes courage and wisdom to seek help, but it is always worth it.
You asked about dangers signs. Here is my list of danger signs from a book I wrote to parents to help them get a better understanding of this very serious subject. This is not meant to be an answer to all the issues surrounding suicide. It is only a brief overview of some of the danger signs.
1. Abrupt changes in personality
2. The giving away of a prized possession
3. A previously attempted suicide
4. Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
5. Eating disturbances and significant weight change
6. Sleeping disturbances (e.g., nightmares, insomnia)
7. Inability to tolerate frustration
8. Withdrawal and rebelliousness
9. Inability or unwillingness to communicate
10. Sexual promiscuity
11. Neglecting personal appearance
12. Theft and/or vandalism
13. Depression - adolescent depression, however, often presents itself behaviorally
14. Exaggerated and/or extended apathy
15. Inactivity and boredom
16. Carelessness and/or accident proneness