Is Masturbation A Sin According to Christianity?

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This can be a tough topic to tackle as people often shy away from it. But, it’s about time we started a conversation around this. Lack of information can lead to irreversible horrors, so it’s better to be informed than sorry. Read along to know about Christianity’s view on masturbation. 

Masturbation has currently become a hot topic in the Christian community. Everyone’s talking about it, yet, no one’s talking about it. We’ve only barely scratched the surface about this topic. Mainly because it’s still a major taboo in society. Especially among the past generations. Who either refused to talk about it or firmly believed that they knew the ultimate truth. This has led to sexuality becoming a very taboo topic in society. This attitude is extremely harmful and keeps us from moving forward as a progressive society. We can’t have a healthy attitude towards sexuality if we shun away the topic and refuse to talk about it. It’s about time we have this conversation. 

What Is Masturbation?

Masturbation is the experience of sexual orgasm produced by self-stimulation for sexual arousal and pleasure. There is an old joke, “98% of people masturbate, and the other two percent are lying.” But here’s the real deal; 98% is an exaggerated number, and the real numbers aren’t quite close to it. In an anonymous survey conducted globally, it was revealed that around 70% of men and 40% of women have masturbated at least once at some point in their life. Can’t seny these are still some big numbers.

Masturbation is an act of instant, self-gratification. It is quite the opposite of the self-control that the bible constantly reminds you of. Self-control is an act of obedience to our Holy God and a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) an act that requires restraint, thought, intentionality, and delayed gratification.

What Does The Bible Say About Masturbation?

Here are some excerpts that can give you clarity on this topic:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 
Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. But where in the Bible does it point to masturbation as a sin? Well, it doesn’t. The closest we can come, in that context, is sexual immorality and lust. 

The book clearly states of two sins. Sexual immorality and Lust (Proverbs 6:25, Matthew 5:28, 1 Peter 4:3). Through the books, it has been clearly outlined who to sleep with and who not to sleep with. The boundaries of sexual immorality and lust have been clearly demarcated. The one common denominator God instructs his people to stay away from is lust. When it comes to masturbation, lust and masturbation are clearly intertwined.  

Jesus talks of lust (Matthew 5:27-30) and in centuries past, lust was defined as a strong desire or craving, whether it be good or bad. Lust is desire without restraint and essentially that is what is happening with individuals who choose masturbation. Masturbation most often occurs when a person is thinking sexual thoughts about someone who is not his/her spouse. The “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16) is the sin. Masturbation is simply the result of the sin. 

In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus clearly talks about lust. For centuries the definition of lust has been the same. It is a strong irresistible craving. Irrespective of whether it was good or bad.  Lust is desire without restraint and essentially that is what is happening when you choose to masturbate. Masturbation most often occurs when a person is thinking sexual thoughts about someone. The “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16) is the sin. Taking into consideration everything mentioned above, you may come to the conclusion that masturbation may in fact be considered a sin according to the bible. 

5 Important Truths To Know About Masturbation As A Christian

As a part of a dynamic society, it is easy to lose track of your faith and belief. Here are 5 truths to keep you grounded in this matter. 

Masturbation can hinder your walk with God

Does masturbation cause you to be closer to God, or to feel more distant? Does it help you grow spiritually, or does it drag you down spiritually? Our ancestors say, anything that lessens your love for Jesus, cools your fire for him, causes you to feel distant from him, and takes your eyes off him, should not be practiced. Galatians 5:17 says, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions”. Masturbation can easily become a gateway that takes you out of God’s will.

Masturbation is self-centered

The act of masturbation focuses entirely on your needs alone. This is straying away from God’s teachings which ask you to focus on fulfilling your wife’s needs first if you’re married. Self-centeredness never helps you to become more like Jesus. Another question to ask about masturbation is, Will this activity help you in your pursuit of holiness? Anything that focuses exclusively on self has great potential for taking you out of the will of God.

Masturbation can affect the way you look at women

To masturbate, you take the help of porn. Pornography adversely affects the way men look at women. Pornography severely objectifies women. Viewing pornography is like putting on a “lust lens,” as per Dr. Jay Dennis of Christianity.com. Seeing women as sexual objects rather than beings beautifully made in God’s image. So if you masturbate to a pornographic image, you will begin to objectify women as sexual objects. Pastor/author John Piper said: “The sexual thoughts that enable masturbation do not help any man to treat women with greater respect.”Remember the godly man Job’s words: “I made a solemn pact with myself never to undress a girl with my eyes”(Job 31:1, The Message).

It is impossible to masturbate to pornography and not sin

When you masturbate you often use porn. Throughout the process, you end up bonding with the pornographic content. This results in changes in your brain, Your entire reward system gets rewired, as your brain reacts to porn the same way it would react to any drug. When you masturbate you feel this “high” and it is easy for your brain to get addicted to that “high”. According to the book of God, this is a sin. And such a sin that can lead you to dark twisted places. 

Masturbation Can Be Addictive

Lately, more and more men have come forward with their struggles related to porn and masturbation addiction. They believe the activity has them enslaved. Addictions control one’s energy, time, thoughts, and plans. We look for opportunities to feed our habit. According to 1 Corinthians 6:12, ”You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything”. Remember, in Christ, you are free not to do those things that will bring chains. Ephesians 4:19 warns us, ”They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” Masturbation—when combined with viewing pornography— can easily become addictive.

What Does This Mean For You?

Masturbation can be a tough topic to deal with. There is a lot of shame and guilt surrounding it. It is still a very taboo topic. The above-mentioned topic all come in to play only when you believe the act of masturbation is affecting your life and faith in God. If you’re having trouble coping with this matter, it would be best to open up and talk about it with someone. It could be a counselor, a pastor, anyone you feel comfortable talking to. When you have a simple chat with someone who is rooted in God’s word it can help you see everything from a much better perspective. 

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14)

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