Dear Rebecca; Robin Williams’ Suicide

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Dear Rebecca,

I was saddened to hear of Robin William’s suicide the other day. I remember him coming on the scene years ago through a TV show called Mork & Mindy. He sure did have a lot of energy! Making people laugh was a true gift for him, as he made it seem so effortless and spontaneous. And while I’m sure the majority of his performances were centered around comedy he had a more serious side which he let us see every now and then, as in the movie Dead Poets Society. Throughout his career he went on to star in other televised and stage productions, and had gained quite a few devoted fans. I can’t think of any time when I’ve heard someone say anything derogatory about him. He spent time with other comedians and various entertainers, politicians and other wealthy and influential people. By all appearances he had just about every good thing this life offers, and yet that apparently was not enough.

He had money, but must have been spiritually broke. He had family, and yet didn’t seem to have anyone close enough to effectively help him. He had fans and notoriety, but all those accolades were drowned out by the internal screaming of his own personal demons. In the end it’s what he didn’t have that was more important than all the others. He apparently didn’t have Christ.

Tragically his is not the first example of having it all, and yet having nothing. Currently over 39,000 people commit suicide every year across all walks of life and economic groups – both men and women. While these people could have many similar characteristics to Mr. Williams, the thing I want you to remember is that he had everything most people want, except peace. It’s also very interesting to note that the people who share in his demographics also are at the highest risk for suicide. Do you think that says something? I think it does.

It seems to me that of all the groups compared, this group should have the least number of suicides and not the most. This should be the ‘highlight time’ of a person’s life. People within this group tend to have the most money, the most influence and the most possessions out of all the other groups. So what does this say? It says that those things are not as important as people think they are. People without Christ place their appraisal of self-worth in these things and not in the only One Who can bring true peace. In fact, of all the people I’ve talked to (or studied of), the trend is that the more ‘things’ a person has in their life the less contented they are prone to be. Stuff breeds more stuff – not peace. All the empty promises in the world can never deliver the contentment that only a deep and abiding relationship with Christ can bring;

1 Tim 6:6-10

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

You can insert just about anything into this Scripture in the place of ”those who desire to be rich”, and when pursued above a relationship with Christ it will yield the same result. It is the love of money (or influence, or sex, or material possessions, or fame, etc.) which causes a person to forsake the One Who will bring a lasting sense of purpose for our life.

As you consider all the possibilities we’ve discussed concerning your future, remember that without Christ your life is just an empty shell – a sham;

Matt 16:26

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Above all else pursue Christ in your life, and everything else will be kept in proper perspective.

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