A couple of weeks back, my wife and I stumbled across an article that had us shaking our heads in disbelief.
It seems that some content creators are making videos offering instructions and encouragement to commit suicide: after a tutorial on how to slit your wrists for maximum damage, one ends with the personality turning towards the camera and saying, “Just end it!”
In essence his message was “When life hurts, choose death!”
You are probably handling this with the same amount of shock and disgust as we were. Didn’t know what to say … didn’t know how to process that kind of darkness, but over the next few minutes I remembered the urgency behind our mission.
If darkness is that aggressive, shouldn’t we be even more so? If they are preying on hopelessness, anxiety and mental health, telling people how to cause pain to those around, shouldn’t we amplify Jesus … the One who offers hope, peace, love and salvation?
John 10:10 tells us that the thief is on a mission; he comes to steal, kill and destroy. The same Scripture points out that God has come that we might have abundant life. If the enemy is focused, shouldn’t we be as well? He is aggressive; we can’t be passive. Lives are on the line.
He is working overtime to amplify pain, steal hope and torture hurting souls. Don’t you think that we should work just as hard, be just as committed, and speak just as boldly?
We can’t let our excuses keep us on the sidelines when the enemy has no shame, is recruiting ambassadors daily, and is blatantly trying to destroy people. Let’s work to overcome the things that keep us from being a part of the team of ambassadors that God is utilizing.
- We are more afraid of rejection than we are concerned for those who are lost: We are moved by the things we are convinced of, and if you are absolutely convinced that Heaven and Hell are real, that God offers eternal life, and that people will either suffer through eternity or they will celebrate through it, then you will be moved to speak up. If you find yourself avoiding conversations about Jesus, perhaps this is where you need to start by praying, “God, help me to be truly convinced that Jesus is the only way to God.”
- We don’t practice: Some might say that they don’t know what to say to someone who needs Jesus, but that is because we don’t practice. We haven’t shared our faith enough to realize that there are nuggets inside of us that can have an impact. We haven’t interjected ourselves into someone’s story enough to realize that we are able to connect God’s hope to their misery. If you want God to use you, you are going to have to stop watching lost and hurting people pass you by — and you are going to have to start engaging in conversations with them.
- We aren’t intentional: There are two types of personal evangelists I have seen. Those who are accidental and those who are intentional. Those who hope they have a conversation of significance and those who are looking to begin a conversation. I would encourage you to pray for opportunities and then look for them. Listen for the pain or hopelessness in the conversations you have. Keep your eyes open for those who are struggling and when you find them, don’t just pat them on the back and tell them you will pray for them, take the time and introduce them to the One who you pray to.
- We are convinced they don’t want to hear: Christians have embraced this lie, and it keeps us from sharing Jesus with those who need Him most. We think people don’t want to have meaningful conversations, that they don’t want someone to take an interest in their lives, and that they don’t want people to point them towards the One who is the answer. In my experience, most people are interested in caring conversations. They long for people to stop long enough to say, “I care,” and they are very open when that person who says they care shares their source of hope.
When I read that article a few days ago, after I got past my initial discouragement, my jaw tightened, my prayers became more focused, and my determination to be a voice of truth and hope grew.
They say, “When life hurts, choose death,” but I will boldly proclaim, “When life hurts, consider Jesus.” For He is the answer to every meaningful question you will ever ask, and He is the One who offers abundant and eternal life.
Sean Dunn is founder and president of Groundwire, a global ministry with the mission to lead every youth and young adult into a personal relationship with Jesus by leveraging current media channels to connect with them wherever they are. More than 116,000 made commitments to Christ through the organization’s efforts in 2020. For more information, visit www.groundwire.net.