A Look At Masturbation

Masturbation is a topic that has become controversial even in Christian
circles. First we need to understand the meaning of sin – Sin is often the
outcome of lust and negative selfish desires. Upon this fact the primary
basis of answering the question “Is masturbation a sin?” can be formed.
Jesus admonishes us in Matthew 5:28 that “whoever looks at a woman to lust
for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Sexual
lusting in the mind of a person triggers the passion for masturbation, this
is sin. Whether it stems from erotic images, viewing of pornography, or
lusting after a person who is not one’s spouse. A Christian must therefore
endeavor to control his thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5).

As Apostle James wrote: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away
and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth
to sin” (James 1:14-15, NAS Bible). Lust can be defined as a firm desire or
craving, whether it be good or bad. In this context it means to desire
something that is not intended to be ours. It is desire without restraint. The
consumption of pornography (including so called “soft porn”) is definitely
a sin, because it violates the words of Christ in Matthew 5:28. Looking
lustfully at racy entertainment and immoral fantasizing all fall within
this category. Masturbation and porn addictions will reinforce each other.
When a person stops viewing or thinking about anything wrongly erotic,
there won’t be so much improper sexual arousal and urges to indulge in
masturbation.

Marriage is sacred and very crucial to God. One must not allow masturbation
to hinder the success of his or her *present* marriage or a *future*
marriage. Lustful fantasies and masturbation can easily become a habit that
destroys a marriage and future sexual satisfaction with one’s spouse. A
habit formed before marriage can be difficult to break even after getting
married. Not a few marriages have been severely hurt if not damaged because
one or both of the spouses had a secret habit of masturbation.

From a spiritual perspective any addiction is dangerous because it has
become the master, and makes the addict the slave. We must only be “slaves
of God” (Romans 6:22). Remember that it is easier to *prevent* a habit or
addiction than to overcome an already-formed habit or addiction.

As Christians we have been charged to be “bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This certainly
requires His help. We must always ask God to direct and strengthen us. The
ideal method for stopping negative thoughts is to replace them with good
thoughts (Philippians 4:6-8). Seek God’s help for spiritual growth and
direction in all areas of life and, as a result, you will become stronger
in those areas where you have been the weakest.

More so, God has called us to be His disciples, hence we are responsible to
Him for how we use our time, our minds and our bodies. We have been called
to bear “good fruit” and “much fruit” spiritually (Matthew 7:15-20; John
15:1-8). Part of the fruit of God’s Spirit is self-control (Galatians
5:22-23). Don’t allow lustful fantasies or masturbation to interfere with
these noble goals. If sexual immorality which comprises of masturbation is
a sin then masturbation is definitely a sin. (Ephesians 5:3, Colossians.
3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3) Lust is a sin. (Proverbs 6:25, Matthew 5:28, 1
Peter 4:3)

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