I love top-ten lists. My favorite part of watching the daily ESPN broadcast in high school was their Top 10 segment. It was always at the end of the broadcast which led me to believe I wasn’t the only one who loved the Top 10. There is something about the top 10 that gets us excited. Top 10 places to eat in an area. Top 10 things to do on vacation. Top 10 gifts to give your wife at Christmas. Oh wait, that was my latest google search.

A list of the top 10 of anything gives us a priority or value list. Often times these lists are positive. However, there are top 10 lists that are negative, such is the case when we consider the leading causes of death. Each year this Top 10 list changes ever so slightly. Heart disease, cancer, accidents, Alzheimer’s, and more. But in recently there is a cause of death rising the charts that should be of concern. What it this “new” leading cause of death? Suicide.

Depression and a strong, vibrant faith are not automatically at odds with each other.

James Emery White

Depression is often linked as a cause that leads to suicide. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see why. When someone is depressed and finds it hard to see joy and purpose in life, death doesn’t seem like an altogether bad thing. As anyone who has battled or walked with someone battling depression or being affected by suicide knows, people need compassion in those times. This is where the church (those who call themselves followers of Jesus) should shine and always be present, but that hasn’t always been the case. James Emery White addresses this issue in his article “Suicide and the Church“. I’d encourage you to give it a read.

While Top 10 lists tend to be something to applaud, the fact that suicide once was and is creeping toward the top 10 leading causes of death is not worth a standing ovation. Instead, it is something we should be informed of, recognize indicators, and be compassionate toward that battling depression. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article and your experience with either depression or suicide. And my challenge to us all is this: what role can we play to ensure suicide doesn’t crack the top 10 list again.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Until Next Time…

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