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Is masturbation a sin? How can I overcome it?
Thank you for sharing this personal issue about masturbation.
In terms of our previous answers relating to masturbation and sin, you can read an answer on that matter here: Is masturbation a sin?
In the Bible it does not state that masturbation is directly a sinful act outside of marriage. However lust is sinful and therefore if someone masturbates and thinks lustful thoughts about someone then it is sinful.
Also in the linked answer it states that masturbation within marriage is not sinful as long as it is enjoyed with the spouse. So if you are married and masturbate with a spouse there is nothing wrong with this according to the Bible.
The main issue is regarding what happens in your heart and mind and if you have lustful desires when you masturbate.
All sexual activity outside marriage is abnormal to the extent that it breaks the essential connection between marriage, sexual relations and sexual enjoyment.
Some would argue that it is impossible to masturbate without lustful thoughts. Therefore it is sinful. If you want to stop masturbating then you need to understand that the Bible teaches we must trust in God for help on all issues of sin, temptation and lust.
Firstly we know that it is humanly impossible for us to change without God's divine help. Before we knew God, the Bible teaches that we had a heart of stone (Ezekiel 11:19). We must ask God for a new heart through faith in Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit is given to us as a gift to keep us close to God and help us live a new life in Christ. You need to rely fully on God for help to change. Prayer is the first thing we need to do.
Secondly there are some practical things you can do to help stop:
1. It is helpful to have someone you can speak to about these issues and text / call them, as well as praying, when you are feeling tempted. Most people struggle or have struggled with these issues in the past and so will either mutually benefit from having someone to talk to or will be there for you if they have struggled in the past.
2. Fill your mind with positive things that do not make you want to masturbate: As we read finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
3. Put software and blocks in place to stop any material entering your mind from the internet / television that will cause you to stumble.
4. Be aware of the times of day that you struggle and find something else to do during those times.
5. Pray for a healthy relationship / marriage with another person. The Bible teaches if we 'burn with lust' then we should get married, although this should not be entered into lightly. See 1 Corinthians 7.
6. Remember to be slow to sin and quick to repent when you do sin.
7. Read good books about sanctification; dealing with sin and also about how good God is.
In summary, sexual enjoyment is God created but is to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage. Self masturbation is in itself not a sin but lust, which often accompanies it, is a sin. It is our hope that you can and will flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18).
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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