Keep Hope Alive This Easter

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Ron Allen

If you are in crisis, please call 988 or visit You are not alone.

Some years ago, I counseled with a young man who considered suicide because of a $5,000 debt. That’s when I learned that it’s not the amount of debt that matters; it’s the burden of the debt on the soul.

Studies show there is an epidemic of suicides. The hardest-hit group is no longer teens or the elderly, but adults ages 35 to 64, for whom suicide is now the fourth most common cause of death. And middle aged men suffer most of all, with suicides outnumbering women by 4 to 1. 

It should not be too surprising that men are the primary victims of the suicide epidemic. Men feel the responsibility of providing for their families and feel condemnation when they cannot. Their self-esteem is often derived from their work, with devastating results when a job is lost. Men learn not to communicate their emotional needs, and many are too proud to ask for help. In a prolonged economic slump, hopelessness takes hold, and some begin to feel the world would be better off without them.

Our experience has been that people can escape from debt and prolonged financial bondage, but the real problem here is spiritual, not financial. The antidote to failure and condemnation is to realize that the whole Christian religion is built on forgiveness for our past mistakes and moving forward without guilt. Self-esteem comes from the value placed on us by God, whose children we are, and can be realized not just through work but also through church, family and friends. Men may not sit in a circle and sing, “Kumbaya,” but they can learn to humble themselves and let others help them. And they can realize that they are still needed by their friends, families and churches.

The message of Easter is that no matter how dark things look on Friday, there is always a bright Sunday morning on the way.

Reaching out to men in trouble is hard to do because they hide their feelings and often behave badly. The first thing you can do is to involve them in some activity to keep them busy and slowly rebuild self-esteem. Share your own failures openly and never insult them by being patronizing. Let them know their life is valuable by asking for their advice and help. Share your faith if you can, pointing to a better future.

And make them laugh.

Remember God’s message to the exiles in Babylon: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future’” (Jer. 29:11, NIV).

Our young friend rediscovered his hope in life with a little encouragement and little help. Hope was the key to the rest of his life.

This Easter, keep hope alive and help people stay alive. There is so much to live for.    

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman who is active in ministries spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is the founder of American Wake Up Call.         

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