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Question 184

 Father, is suicide an unforgivable sin according to the orthodox church?  


Answer to Question 184


 The church condemns suicide because for someone to take his own life it means that he believes that he is beyond help and that even God canít help him. It is then a rejection of God himself by refusing to allow God into his life to save him. God is the Source and Giver of lifeólife which is sustained by the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within each of us. Thus to wilfully take oneís life, is to wilfully cut oneself off from the Source of oneís life, to project a sense of hopelessness that cannot be reversed, even by God. Our faith teaches us that, no matter how hopeless our plight in life may seem, with God there is always cause to have hope. Our lives are not our own but, rather, a gift from God, a sacred gift entrusted to us, which must be used wisely, nurtured lovingly, and accepted thankfully, regardless of the difficulties one may encounter. As such, our life is not ours to take, any more than taking the life of another is ours to take.