The Emptiness of Having it All but Having Nothing | God’s Word Today

The Emptiness of Having it All

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christine Chubbock flipped her long hair away from her face as she sat down preparing to do news on her morning television show. Looking down at the script before her she began reading a couple of network news stories. As her hand shook ever so slightly she looked directly into the camera and said, “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest, we bring you another first‑‑an attempted suicide.” Then reaching into a bag where she kept puppets she sometimes used on her morning show, she took a 38 caliber revolver and put it to her head. She squeezed the trigger and slumped over on the floor.

One of the camerawomen ran over expecting her to be doubling over with laughter. Later she told newsmen, “I thought, ‘What sick humor….’ But when I saw her stretched out …, I said, ‘…she’s done it. She’s shot herself.’” And Christine Chubbock had taken her life in front of a live television audience, which was a very sad and grim “first.”

On at least four other occasions lives had been taken by others in front of TV cameras, but never before had someone so dramatically taken his own life in the presence of so many. Hours after the shooting, the story was on radio, television, and the front pages of newspapers all over the world. “TV Star Kills Self,” “On Camera Suicide” read headlines from Tokyo to London to Australia to the New York Daily News.

It was “a first,” but a sad one. The two questions that came to the minds of many was, “Why would an attractive, talented young woman of 29 take her life when it seemed that she had so much going for her?” And, “Why would she do it live on television?” The answers really don’t satisfy. The clinical answer was that she had been suffering from depression. She wanted to get married, but several friendships had resulted in only frustration.

A few days before she had told the news director, Mike Simmonds, that she wanted to do a film piece on suicide. He said, “Go ahead,” and that was when she contacted the police department who told her the best way to accomplish the grim task.

Money was no problem for Chris. She was from an upper middle‑class family, and she received a decent salary for her morning program. Perhaps her mother zeroed in on the “Why she did it” when she told reporters at the hospital, there was just nothing in her life that she lived for and subsequently nothing she died for. Chris’s death caught the attention of people because she was on camera, but I can’t help but think she is simply one of thousands whose lives are just as empty and futile who decide to call it quits, take their own life and simply fade out from the register of the living.

I couldn’t help thinking how different her life might have been had someone told her of God’s love for her in Jesus Christ. The unique thing about Christianity is that it brings a purpose to living. “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” says Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Living Bible).

I am thinking of another woman who received one of our Guidelines booklets and threw it aside. In a mood of despondency she attempted to take her life, but when the dullness of the sleeping pills wore off, she picked up the booklet and began reading. That morning she quietly invited Jesus Christ to come into her life and fill the aching void within. What happened? She was a different woman and began to find new purpose and meaning to life as she read the pages of the New Testament.

Another acquaintance in despair took a meat cleaver and tried to take his life. But after hundreds of stitches and weeks in the hospital, he turned to Christ and his life found the direction he wanted and something to live for.

Is Christianity a crutch for the weak and infirm? I would reply, “No!” Christ only completes the void of the human heart. In the fifth century, Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O God, and our heart is restless until it finds itself in thee.”

Friend, don’t settle for anything less than the God-filled life whereby He indwells your soul and satisfies your longings.

Resource reading: John 2

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963.Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages.He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children (daughter Bonnie is now Guidelines president) and eight well-loved grandchildren.
Dr. Harold J. Sala

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