Help for angry, suicidal friend

I have a friend that was a christian (he has since claimed that he is not anymore) and made a really troubling post on social media. I have spoken with him and am unsure of how I should respond.

Everything started witha post asking if you ever wish you could die (he was pretty specific and graphic). As responses poured in of encouragement and care, his basic response is that God is the enemy and “life is a sick twisted joke.” I have tried to talk to him (not just via facebook but in person) but he is pretty angry at God and I cant seem to discover what has happened.

I need advice as to how to help my friend. I also know God is working and Aaron (that’s his name) needs to choose for himself. I just hope to be as prepared as possible to help.

3 Likes

To begin with I am not a professional counselor but would recommend you try to get a professional involved. On your part pray against the demonic attack against his mind. I will be praying with you for him. If he is willing to talk just be a good listener and friend. Pray as he speaks and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to him as he shares. Remember this
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16
Standing in the gap with you in this
Mike

7 Likes

I must agree with @mgaplus4. I would encourage you to do your best to get a professional counselor involved. If nothing else please send them the prevention hotline 1-800-273- TALK.

Again, prayer is you best bet in a situation like this. We will keep Aaron in prayer as well. It might be good to just sit with this person, if the opportunity presents itself, and listen to them. Most often, in situations such as this, argumentation is at best ineffectual and at worst detrimental. Listen with a loving ear, offer encouragement, and when the person starts to ask questions provide gentle and loving answers.

I can tell from your post that you carry a very heavy heart for this person. Turn that into prayer. But, do not think it is your job to fix this situation. Out of love do what you can. Conversion and transformation is a partnership between that person and the Spirit. You can partner with the Spirit in wisdom and prayer, but you cannot change a person. This doesn’t mean you can’t stand by this person and help them. But, if things do not change, do not take it as a personal failure. Just continue to take the situation before God in prayer. I just wanted to offer you that encouragement.

6 Likes

Thank you Joshua.

Well, I have actually dealt with a very similar situation on more than one occasion, with some people in my life. So my advice comes from my experience.

I agree with what others have said about seeking professional help especially if they have an established plan to take their own life. And I second what @Joshua_Hansen said about it not being our job to fix them, however it can feel like the burden falls on you.

Here are my recommendations:
-allow them to talk and be angry. They are angry with God for a reason so if they open up to you, be sympathetic and listen with the intent to understand their thoughts and feelings.
-avoid quoting scripture or telling them they “shouldn’t be_________.” When I was angry with God, quoting scripture to me just made me more angry. It made me feel like people cared more about not being angry with God then with why I was feeling that way.
-make sure you have support from trusted friends and family. These situations are emotionally and mentally exhausting so take care of yourself too
-pray for them and for yourself
-depending on the situation, be a source of distraction for them. Take them out and do something fun, something you know they would enjoy

The pain that people go through in life can be absolutely horrible, and life can seem like a “twisted joke.” Eventually Aaron needs to decide for himself what he will do, will he make the most of life despite the circumstances that arise?

Hope this helps
Will be praying for you guys as this situation is all too familiar. And remember you do not need to be all things and this can hard to accept when you care deeply for someone.

10 Likes

This is good advice, Meaghan @rempel.meaghan. I have never experienced someone in this type of situation. So, advice coming from one who has is invaluable. I have learned from it. Thank you.

2 Likes

@ConMeg Hi, as you listen ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to gently CONFIRM for him his Worth. If it’s not ?clinical hence the need for professional help. Again if it’s not clinical his anger could be a shout to the world ( Don’t you all know that I AM worth something!!!). As you listen he will tell you why. :pray::pray:

1 Like

I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and I’m currently working on a graduate degree in counseling. I would also agree that any suicidal ideation should be taken very seriously and professional help should be sought.

It may also help to legitimize your friend’s anger. In my experience, people are angry because they’ve been hurt. There is some sort of injustice or something that is perceived as unfair. In other words, their sense of a just-world has been violated. It is totally right-headed for your friend to look to God as being responsible for justice. And when he recognizes that things aren’t right, it should not sit right with him. He should be angry. Being made in God’s image, anger against injustice is an attribute your friend shares with God. And strangely enough, just as your friend’s anger is aimed at God, God’s wrath was taken out on God - in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Maybe I’m off base here, but this may be a way to empathize with your friend and to provide a different perspective for him to consider.

7 Likes

Praise the Lord for Godly wisdom. I have been saved for 29 years and have rarely seen the body come together as one. Prayers and encouragement to you Coniah.

3 Likes

Thank you Mike,

I have encouraged him to seek professional help on several occasions. He has rebuffed it each time.

I absolutely will be praying, befriending, and listening to the best of my ability. My problem I that I want to fix things but in this case it’s not my job.

Thank you for your advice and prayers.

1 Like

Thank you for your prayers and advice.

I didnt realise how hard this hit me until just before my original post. Thank you again and I will be trying to follow all of the excellent advice offered.

2 Likes

I deeply appreciate your words of wisdom here.

I had not thought that quoting scripture could be a hindrance but I can understand now. It makes alot of sense.

I also had not thought about making sure I had support myself… I very much appreciate that point.

I will try to be a source of distraction, support and a listening ear. Thank you again.

1 Like

Thank you Rodney,

I will be doing exactly that, looking to confirm his worth, as I listen and am his friend. Thank you for your prayers.

2 Likes

Thank you Jerrid,

Yes I do believe there has been some things to provide some fuel for his anger. I have heard little bits from when he was younger and just before I met him I know there was an some sort of problem with a pastor. I haven’t dug and he hasn’t opened up but I will be listening.

I like your suggestion that I can bring to him if appropriate. I will keep it in mind and be praying. Thank you for your prayers and advice.

2 Likes

This is wonderful and thoughtful advice.

Jude tells us to “pull them out of the fire”, coupling your mercy with the fear of God. But at the same time, keep yourself free from the pollution’s of the flesh! Let the Holy Spirit led you as to how you “pull”!

1 Like

Thank you!

I will be doing exactly that. Looking to pull him out of his fire when he reaches for help. Only the Holy Spirit has the wisdom to guide him though. He seems to be rebuffing anyone who reaches out to him.

Your prayers are appreciated.

Coniah … God bless your heart for sharing about your friend and seeking counsel!

I’ll just re-iterate that please keep your friend(Aaron) in your prayer. I prayed for you and Aaron right now.
@ConMeg

God Bless

1 Like