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Is Masturbation A Sin?



I knew the insecurity that it develops. I knew the way it gave a false sense of fulfillment and how filling emptiness with this poison brought on painful and emotionally damaging results.

My first semester of college I was introduced to a biblical theory that masturbation was okay. I'll admit it, a hint of me wanted this concept to be true. Okay maybe a lot of me did. But I never bought into it despite the manipulative vernacular. Even after those 2 a.m. dorm talks with intellectuals advocating the opposing argument I just couldn't find peace with it. In this post I'll talk about what the Bible say but I'll further engage my own past and implications I feel come from this behavior.

What does the Bible say about it? (this question should be priority with anything)

God desires purity for us and with this desires comes our responsibility to respond in holiness and obedience.

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; -I Thessalonians 4:1-5, ESV

We must recognize that God is not a dictator whose instruction is random and of no consequence. His instructions are pure and of great consequence. It's not a matter of "do as I say or you're gonna pay." Rather it's God in his sovereignty knowing what's best for us, identifying us as his beloved children and showing us his desire for a joyful and pure life.

I'm about to get transparent with this topic including my own personal past so if you choose to continue reading please extend grace, Jesus did.

So, why didn't I buy into the aforementioned theory that masturbation didn't conflict with scripture?

Because I knew what all was involved with masturbation. I knew the impure thoughts that go through ones mind. Beyond that I knew the objectification that is involved. Not just towards those in thought but even self-objectification. See, when we engage in masturbation we are facilitating ourselves outside of the parameters that God has set. He sees us as valuable and desires all actions towards us to be pure. When we engage in masturbation we replace this valued identity with an objectifying pursuit of self-gratification. It’s damaging because it distorts our self-image, an image that is both beautiful and pure before the Father.

I knew the insecurity that it develops. I knew the way it gave a false sense of fulfillment and how filling emptiness with this poison brought on painful and emotionally damaging results.

I knew that after the fact I felt inadequate. How can God use someone like ME!?

It had such a hold on me. It became a concrete routine. But just because it became habitual doesn't mean that the sorrow eventually left me. Grief followed every episode. I felt like I was trying everything I could to escape the temptation. For a period in my life I made sure to have a bottle of hard liquor in my room that I would drink excessively before going to bed just so I'd be physically incapable.

John, dude, too much detail!

Graphic, sure. But I am the vast majority of Christians who have felt the sting of this oppression therefore if I can be transparent and let others know that they're not alone then I'll be as graphic as I need to be. I don't condone the liquor strategy at all. That's just one option I chose cause I wanted so bad to be freed from it. I wanted so badly to walk in holiness. I wanted to be able to say I had kicked the habit. It wasn't just a fulfillment of sexual craving, it was an escape from reality. It was a stress relief.

I knew that when I ran to masturbation I was running from Jesus.

The more I thought about it the more convicted I felt. Masturbation is not only an invitation for immorality to saturate our minds, it's a surrender to a mockery. A mockery of the beautiful gift of sex that God has given us.

Accountability

Why am I being so transparent? Because the more we isolate these discussions to top-secret sessions strictly among our like genders then the less access others have to get their laundry out there. This issue is so imprisoning but discussing it is so freeing. I'm not the biggest proponent of separating genders for these talks though I am charitable to the practical side of it if the majority of those in session are uncomfortable with co-ed attendance. I guess I just feel that since we all know it happens and all struggle with it there's no purpose in acting like it's a secret.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:12-17, ESV

Friends, seek purity. Seek accountability. Seek freedom.

When Satan says, you’ve given part of yourself away, remember God said, I made you whole.

When Satan says you’re damaged goods remember God said you’re a new creation.

When you feel unworthy to be used just remember Paul (Saul), Peter, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, David etc.

Your past has nothing on God’s grace. The decisions you’ve made are not what define you. Relish in his intimacy. Walk in his grace. You are loved and appreciated by Love Himself and have been credited righteous through Jesus.

Always remember that you are a beautiful creation made by a beautiful Creator for a beautiful purpose.

For the gospel//

JWR


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