Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
On November 13 I preached a sermon on Euthanasia as we believe life is sacred from conception to natural death. More and more this issue will be less theoretical and personal and practical. How can we minister to those contemplated or booked for medically assisted suicide. Below is a suggested approach/guide.
*A Christian guide in witnessing to persons considering MAiD.
Prayer before you go, while you go, after you go. Use God’s Word. Be humble and respectful. Be bold. Be supportive.
As of 2019 (expanded in 2021) MAiD is legal in Canada.
Convince them of your sympathy; listen to them. Those who contemplate or choose MAiD are hurting in body, mind and/or soul. We must show compassion and have a discerning ear to discover how to best speak into their situation (Mt 9:36; Prov 18:13, 20:5).
Convince them of God’s value of life: that being created in the “image of God” every person has value and that since God is the author and giver of life it is precious (Gen 1:26, 2:7). Tell a better story.
Convict them that taking one’s life is not God’s plan; it is immoral. Every Biblical example of suicide is negative (e.g. King Saul and Judas) and murder is prohibited (6th Commandment, Ex 20:13). To take one’s life or seek help in this, no matter how difficult, is to despise the gift of life that God has given and take for yourself what is rightfully God’s: to decide your days (Dt 32:39). Rather than trusting God as Creator, Judge and King, MAiD makes the self god as we decide life and death, right and wrong and what is best or may or may not be possible for the future.
Comfort them that despite our suffering there is a better way. While God is the giver of life, as a consequence of our sin and rebellion against God [including the desire to take one’s life] (Ro 6:23a) we’re all spiritually dead and physically dying. Without God we’re eternally lost to hell (Mt 10:28). Taking your life won’t solve your pain and suffering, it will add to it.
But God has given us a free gift by sending His Son so we might be forgiven and find new life (Ro 6:23b). When we repent and trust in Jesus we become at peace with God and are given the Helper, the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7). Sympathizing with us in our weakness (Heb 4:15) His presence will help us live for God and others amidst our suffering and not for self alone. He will bring joy in the midst of our present suffering and assure us of the hope of eternal life free from suffering that awaits the believer (Rev 21:4).
God does not want person X to die but to find eternal life in Jesus (Jn 3:16). Offer an invitation for them to respond to the Gospel, to pray with them, to leave information, to speak further. Also, many considering MAiD do not believe they have other options, are lonely and want support networks. Offer to help them make alternative plans, seek to meet their most pressing needs while they consider what you have said.
So convince, convict and comfort.
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