Netflix’s astonishingly successful series about a teen committing suicide, 13 Reasons Why, has stirred a lot of conversations. Teen suicide is the second highest killer of teens, next to accidents. It’s undeniably a real and serious problem in the American culture.
How should parents and others respond to this problem? Perhaps the best way is to give teens 13 Reasons Why…Not! They need to be given reasons why to live this gift of life.
As a father who has raised three children, here is the first thing I would say to them if they were still teens and watching this Netflix show (the other 12 will soon follow!). It’s what I’d say to any teen or adult about this reality.
Grab hold of this truth: At some point in the expanse of eternity, before and beyond the creation of space and time, God loved you. Think more deeply about this truth: Before the world was ever created, God chose to love you (Ephesians 1:4).
You didn’t do anything meritorious to deserve his love. How could you? You weren’t even created! He chose to create and love you simply because he deemed you amazingly lovable!
God’s love for you isn’t based on body image, others’ opinions of you, your external beauty, or your personality. He doesn’t consider any worldly standard when choosing to love you. He just passionately and profoundly loves you the way he created you.
The proof of that love is the cross. That’s the extent to which God went to die for you so you could know his love. God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, Jesus, into the world so you could know and experience that love.
On the cross, Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of your sins. The gift of eternal life is a free gift, paid in full by the one who created you. He died so you could live a life filled with his love.
Death was never a part of God’s original plan and intent. Jesus came to give us life and give it to us abundantly (John 10:10). He would never want you to initiate your own death. It’s inconsistent with his love of life!
Therefore, take some time today to contemplate the cross. Feel the fathomless depth of God’s love for you. Sense his profound care for you. Realize his resounding grace for you. Bathe in his boundless mercy for you.
How great is God’s love for you! God is love. That is his nature.
Nothing you do can ever separate you from his love. It’s beyond anything you could ever hope for or imagine. God loves you. He really, really loves you!
When realized, you fight to protect, gain and give life, not take it. Life becomes the most precious commodity on earth.
God’s love is the first and most powerful reason not to take your life.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (ESV)