The suicides last week of fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have shocked many people. Spade left behind her husband Andy and their 13 year-old daughter. Bourdain left behind his girlfriend Argento and his 11 year-old daughter.

Celebrities bring suicide into the public consciousness but the problem has been growing for years. The suicide rate in the U.S. has increased 25 percent from 1996 to 2016 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 45,000 Americans 10 years and older killed themselves in 2016. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country. And one of only three causes of death that is growing.

The question is how successful celebrities with loving families can take their own lives? Mental health is of course part of it. Spade suffered from anxiety and depression according to her husband. Bourdain had referenced his mental health challenges in the past.

But is there something else besides mental health challenges at work in America? Is there more to it?

Our choices are shaped by the worldview we have adopted, whether we are conscious of it or not. Whenever we make a decision we run it through a mental and emotional filter. The filter is the result of how we make sense of the world.

Secularists, for instance, believe all experiences are based on chance human life has no purpose. We are merely driven by survival. Atheists believe there is no God, that life has no grand story or meaning. Existentialists may have passion but it is in in wrestling with the uselessness of life.

For postmodernists – a predominant worldview among those in academia, media and entertainment – life is simply a random series of subjective experiences with no ultimate purpose beyond survival. Greater emphasis is placed on the process rather than the purpose of one’s efforts.

Another way to view life is to see that God is real. That He loves you and has a purpose for your life. That God does not set us up for failure - He sets us up for success, giving us talents, gifts, abilities and the opportunities to do something meaningful with our lives.

Life is a gift from God, in the biblical worldview. God has a purpose and a plan for our lives, even when there is pain and suffering. Sometimes especially when there is pain and suffering.

There is a beautiful world for us to see and experience. Natural wonders to be explored, art to inspire and travel that can introduce us to the variety of life. Family, relationships, friendships – each bring out the fullness of our lives.

But we can become discouraged, dissatisfied and skeptical about life. Yet, He has a unique, personalized plan for every person on this earth. We are not an accident or an afterthought. Not to God. He can work in any and every situation.

Life can be hard or unfair, but don’t quit. Don’t miss out on what God can do. God has good things for your life, and sometimes the toughest it will ever be is right before the breakthrough.

God never quits. It’s impossible for Him to give up on us. God will always do His part. Don’t ever give up - God has a plan for your life.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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