5 Things We Can Learn From Celebrity Suicides
In society many celebrities are individuals who project a larger-than-life image of people who appear to have self-actualized or reached the epitome of everything they ever wanted in life.
The world idolizes its celebrities; we love their public life and so we want to know everything that is happening in their lives; we believe they’re more special than us and therefore we want to emulate our celebrities; we even desire to have the same kind of fame, wealth, lifestyle or happiness.
However, whenever we hear news of a celebrity committing suicide, it is often met with shock and bewilderment. Why would someone who “had it all” commit suicide? Why do people who appear to live such a happy, wealthy & public lifestyle suddenly take their own life?
Below are 5 things we can learn from a celebrity suicide:
1. Money Does Not Guarantee True Joy or Happiness
Ecclesiastes 5:10 says: He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity
Joy is not external – instead true joy and happiness is something we experience internally or from within. Money can only give the illusion or false perception of happiness. However, genuine joy and happiness comes from within us and not because of the amount of money that we possess.
Money may buy us the things we like and the things we desire – but neither money nor our material possessions can give us true internal joy. This is why despite a celebrity having so many millions of dollars in the bank, many have still committed suicide.
Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 NLT says: There is another serious tragedy I have seen under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity. 2 God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then He doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy.
2. Depression & Mental Illness is Rising
A major factor in the rise of depression and mental illness is the use of social media.
Etatics says that“since the release of smartphones, mental health concerns have increased in children and young adults. The rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression in a given year increased by 52% from 2005 to 2017. From 2009 to 2017, it grew by 63% in adults ages 18 to 25. Experiencing psychological distress in a given month grew 71% in young adults from 2008 to 2017. Even worse, the rate of suicidal thoughts in young adults increased 47% during that same time”
According to the World Health Organization “depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. Approximately 280 million people in the world have depression… Over 700 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.”
Examples of people who committed suicide due to some type of depression or mental illness are celebrities such as actor Robin Williams and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington.
Therefore popularity cannot cure internal issues and problems. We all need to be equipped with methods and ways to deal with circumstances that could lead to depression or mental illness.
3. Nobody Is Immune to the Tests & Trials of this Life
Being rich and famous does not mean that one is now immune to life’s issues and problems. For example, despite their popularity, many celebrities struggle with self-esteem, drug addiction and even personal relationships. Many have to deal with the psychological pressure of keeping up appearances or projecting an outward image that does not reflect their true internal feelings, experiences and status.
As long as we are humans, with feelings, emotions and living in a fallen & sinful world, then we are always susceptible to the temptations of the devil no matter how rich or popular we are. Tribulations do not discriminate but they affect everyone.
In John 16:33, Jesus says: “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 says: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it
4. Death Does Not Discriminate
Celebrity suicides serve as a reminder that we shall all die one day. One day we will leave our money and material possessions behind.
1 Timothy 6:7 says: For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
So what matters is where shall we go when we die? Did we have a relationship with God or did we reject God on Earth?
Neither fame, nor possessions nor money can buy us a ticket to Heaven. We only need to read The Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus to understand that death does not discriminate between the rich and the poor and that what matters is our relationship with God (Luke 16:19-31).
5. We All Have A Void That Can Be Filled By Only One Person
If money, fame and material possessions cannot make us truly happy, then where and how can we find true joy and happiness?
If neither wealth nor popularity cannot help us overcome depression and mental illness, then how can we overcome life’s trials and tribulations?
How can we fill the void that money, fame or material possessions cannot fill?
The answer to these questions is found in a very special and unique Person – Jesus Christ.
Only Christ alone can fill the void in our life. Christ alone is our true treasure and the One through whom we can experience peace even in the midst of a storm.
In John 14:27, Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It is through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ that all the voids in our life can be filled.
Below are reasons why only Jesus can help us in every area of our life.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says the following “I AM” statements:
- “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51); Just as bread sustains our daily physical life, so Christ sustains our daily spiritual life.
- “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) In a world lost in spiritual darkness, Jesus Christ offers Himself the Light of the world to give us spiritual direction and guidance.
- “I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7,9) Jesus protects His followers as shepherds protect their flocks from predators.
- “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25); Death cannot defeat anyone who is in Jesus Christ. Though we might die a physical death, it is only through Christ that we will live eternally with Him.
- “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14) Jesus is committed to caring and watching over those who belong to Him.
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the source of all truth and knowledge about God. He is also the doorway to Heaven and to God.
- “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5) When we abide in Jesus Christ, then we are able to reflect the nature and character of Christ as His disciples. Without Christ we cannot bear good fruit.
Fame and fortune is not the answer to true happiness. Many celebrities are known to have made deals with the devil or joined some kind of satanic cult in pursuit of money and popularity.
However celebrity suicides also remind us that celebrity is a real person who also encounters real problems just like any other person. Celebrities are people who also need God and a relationship with Jesus Christ just like everybody else.
Celebrity suicides also reminds us that we must examine ourselves. What do we hold as dear and important in our lives? What do we find satisfying and important in life? Is it fame and fortune that can make us feel whole? Or is it a relationship with God.
We must be reminded that we came with nothing into this world, and we will leave with nothing (1 Timothy 6:7). Therefore all that matters is that we have Jesus Christ in our life because He alone can complete us and He alone is the way, the truth and the life.