Over 38,000 people committed suicide last year. 100,000-plus people this past year typed into Google “I want to die.” Suicide and looking for a reason not to blow their brains are both on the rise. I find it curious that this rise in depression comes at the very time that Christianity is on the decline.
It’s hard to believe that someone would voluntarily give the most precious gift they have – life. But they do. And many of these people attend worship. Odds are, some of these people may be at your church. Can you tell who they are? Probably not. What are you offering to keep them mentally and spiritually whole?
Studies show that people who practice some form of discipline, spiritual or not, tend to be more balanced than those who don’t. So here are some daily practices you might suggest.
- Sleep eight hours. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to be more prone to suicide. The same is true for those who sleep all the time.
- Don’t complain about anything for one whole day.
- Don’t gossip.
- Express thanks to a friend
- Read the Bible. Of course I think this is the best practice one can have. Take time to read any passage a day or better, get the SOAP daily Bible study.
- Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for the life you can save.
- Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time.
- Write down your daily schedule. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore.
- Pick out ten people you are grateful for and send them each a note.
- Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxygen in the brain as actually forgiving them in person.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Don’t say yes when you want to (or need to); say no sometimes.
- Tell someone every day that you love them. Don’t have anyone to say this to? Then join Match.com.
- Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body.
- Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you.
- Spend time with a friend.
- Practice taking deep breaths.
- Every morning tell yourself, “I am a child of God so loved by God that God gave the most precious gift there is –life – so that I can live abundantly.”
Get the picture? In most cases we are what we do and who we hang out with. In most cases we can improve our outlook on life by making even the slightest change in our daily routine. So make spiritual disciplines available to your people.
Question: What suggestions would you add to the list? Share your suggestions in the Comments section below.