Which is better?

Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better. If I continue to live in this world, I get results from my work. But I don’t know what I prefer. I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better. However, it’s more important for me to stay in this world for your sake. I’m sure of this: I will stay alive and remain with all of you to help your progress and the joy of your faith, and to increase your pride in Christ Jesus through my presence when I visit you again. Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel. That way, you won’t be afraid of anything your enemies do. Your faithfulness and courage are a sign of their coming destruction and your salvation, which is from God. God has generously granted you the privilege, not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Christ’s sake. You are having the same struggle that you saw me face and now hear that I’m still facing. (Philippians 1:21-30, CEB)

I remember studying this text in seminary and discussing the mental health aspects of this text.

Paul says living serves Christ because Paul gets to share the story of Jesus and what Jesus did for him and all of the world, but dying is even better because then Paul gets to be with Jesus.

So is Paul contemplating suicide? Paul says, ” I’m torn between the two because I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is far better.” It is better to not be in this world because being with Christ is so much better. There is no talk about Paul being sick or anything about him about to die. So is he writing to the Philippians about his contemplation of taking his own life? Remember that this epistle was written probably 10 – 20 years before the gospels. So Paul would have heard stories about Judas but may not have known details from the gospels that we do, and Judas’ suicide might not have been as much of a struggle for followers of the way then. They would have had disdain for Judas for other reasons.

I think it interesting to look at this reading this way. Paul is wanting to be with Jesus which puts a different spin on suicide than most of us have. Mental health is a topic we need to talk about and not make it taboo.

Know that Paul didn’t do that, he chose to live and to continue to spread the message of God’s love.

If you are ever thinking about committing suicide, please reach out to talk to someone and if there isn’t anyone, reach out to me. We are never alone in our walks, or the dark places we find ourselves.

I love you and am thankful that we connect, if only through this website.

God loves you and you are a beloved child of the creator of the universe.

Please always remember that.

Loving People. Loving God.

Published by asacredrebel

Lions tamed Dragons slain Leaders equipped Disciples trained Jedi Christian Living the Gospel out loud!

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