Is suicide a sin?

In today’s society, suicide is increasingly viewed as an acceptable means of solving one’s problems. In some legal systems, medical professionals have been given the right, and even the power, to assist in the suicide of those whose conditions render them incapable of carrying out the act themselves. Aside from the moral and ethical issues this raises on the human level, what does God say about suicide?

The Sixth Commandment states, “You shall not kill” (Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17). Notice that there is no distinction made between killing another person and killing oneself.

A person considering suicide has reached that point by allowing circumstances in his life to rule over him. The apostle Paul asked, “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). In verse 12, he exhorts us, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

In Matthew 22:39, Christ taught, “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In Ephesians 5:29, Paul stated, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it…” A person contemplating suicide may say that he hates himself, but his real motivation is one of utter self-love, to the point that he totally disregards the feelings and needs of others, and the impact that his actions will have on his family and friends. In I Corinthians 13:5, Paul stated, “[Charity (love)] seeks not its own…” He also stated, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel [a non-believer]” (I Tim. 5:8).

The Bible clearly shows that the unpardonable sin is any sin unrepented of (Heb. 10:26; I John 5:16; Jas. 4:17). Killing is plainly sin. One who kills himself is certainly in jeopardy of being left in an unrepentant condition.