Tips for Life
by Alan Bailey
Youth suicide appears to be dropping, but self-harm is taking over.
Most of us simply can’t keep abreast of all that is happening around the world. News spreads rapidly and much of it is hard to come to terms with, so we tend to give up. We just do our best to survive. That’s the formula these days.
But have you noted this? Trends show that world-wide, young people are losing their sense of the worth of life. Suicide is still chillingly common, but now self-harm is taking over. In numbers of countries, those in teen years in particular, are being driven to attack their own bodies. They deliberately harm themselves out of frustration, anger, sadness or just to get attention.
How and why is this?
One reason appears to be the failure of the older generation to give them something to live for. They are told that the human race has no more importance than any other species of animal, and that there is no final purpose for our existence. Couple this with neglect in nurture and teaching of values as a child grows to adulthood, and you have the basis of the problem.
We all know what peer pressure can do. Group mentality can reinforce all the negatives that have emerged in a teenager’s thinking. Perhaps it isn’t any wonder that life then becomes cheap. Grasping at whatever thrills can be found becomes the essence of life.
You can see it happening
This is the attitude to life that drives drug addiction, binge drinking, hooning in their cars, thrill seeking in dangerous stunts, reckless sexual antics and who knows what more. Then, as always, individuals become sick and disillusioned, deeply dissatisfied and trying desperately to get out of the web in which they are caught.
Meantime, there is an answer
I know many young people who would love to share what they have discovered with these unhappy ones. They live life to the full, they find it challenging, rewarding and abundantly worthwhile.
Having a foundation is the secret. They know that they are creatures made in the image of God. They know that He loves them immensely and that they are of great worth.
There are Christian young people all over the world who are gladly sharing the Christian Good News with others. Nothing else even begins to measure up to this message. No-one else can speak of a Saviour who died and rose again in order to deal with our sin and failure, and to bring us into intimate relationship with Himself. He said, “I came that you may have life and have it to the full”. He offers it freely. “Whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.”