July 2021 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3, ESV).
“Is there a correlation between worldview and emotional struggles?” asked apologist Todd Friel. “The Bible answers that question and says yes. When we do not have our thinking in alignment with God’s thinking, the farther we get away from Him, the more pain we feel.”
Friel told AFA Journal about an informal survey in which he asked students at Texas A&M University, “Do you ever struggle with suicidal thoughts?” He said at least one-third of his respondents said they had done so at one time or another.
Suicidal ideation, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.” National data from NIMH shows an average of 4.8% for all age groups had thought of suicide in 2019. The highest statistic – 11.8% – was for young adults 18-25.
Statistics like these plus a sermon he heard helped Friel realize the loss of a loved one rates a 10 in pain, while the loss of a loved one to suicide rates 1 million in pain.
He further asked the students why they thought others were feeling hopeless and having suicidal thoughts. Their top responses are shared in the booklet 13 Reasons Why You Should Not Commit Suicide (and 13 Reasons Why You Should Live). Friel wrote it to refute both 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix series advocating suicide, and the many worldviews that may lead to suicide.
Each of the 13 reasons addressed in Friel’s booklet flows from beliefs within a worldview that affects thoughts, emotions, and actions. That worldview subtly leads to conclusions counter to what the Bible says about who people are and who God is. Anyone adopting that worldview is highly likely to wind up with unnecessary anguish and suffering.
But God provides His Word as testament to His authority over how we are to live – how we are to think, feel, and behave.
Friel pointed out how the human brain is just another part of man’s fall after creation. As the Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9, God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, and man’s ways are not His ways.
“Your biggest problem is not the issue that is currently dragging you down,” Friel said. “Your biggest problem right now is God Himself.
“The Bible says we are at enmity with Him in our minds through evil works, and His wrath abides upon us. We live our own way. We go our own way. We do our own thing. … [But] He offers terms of peace through his Son, Jesus Christ.”
Friel reemphasized, “Your biggest problem is God. Get that issue settled first, and the rest of these issues will progressively fall into place.”
Clean heart, new creation
Surrendering to the truth of the gospel can accomplish two things:
1) Create in me a clean heart, O God. (Psalm 51:10, ESV).
2) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV).
Visit Todd Friel’s website at wretched.org. His 13 Reasons booklet is available in hard copy or (at press time) a free downloadable version. It urges the reader to stop believing lies, start believing the truth, and exchange any faulty worldview for one based on the Bible. The site also has a video section titled Gospel to help readers grow deeper in the Word.
Friel is host of Wretched Radio heard Saturdays 10 p.m.-midnight CT on American Family Radio (afr.net).