Fleshy Desires (Masturbation)

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I remember a time when talking about masturbating was a very private matter. No one openly admitted that they masturbated.  It was a very taboo subject. Nowadays, not only is it highly acceptable to talk about, it is now encouraged to do so. The world tells us that there is nothing wrong with pleasing yourself. You are not harming anyone. The sad reality is masturbating may not hurt anyone physically, but it hurts you spiritually. Before I was born again, I used to think exactly like that. I felt like it was okay to do so because the world said it was okay. As a born again Christian, is it really alright to do that?

As a Christian, the bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 that we should abstain from all sexual sin. This verse includes masturbation. When I first heard it was a sin, I denied it like crazy. My mind and heart was not yet renewed, so I was not trying to hear what the Bible had to say about the subject. Why would I want to give up something that feels so good?  Although I was not born again, I had come into the knowledge of my sin. I had a Hebrews 10:26 going on; I was still deliberately sinning with this new found knowledge.

As a believer if you come from the background of sex before you were married and masturbating like I've come from, being single is not the easiest thing. It is hard once everyone you know start getting married. Of course it is easy to abstain from sexual sin when you and your friends are all on the same playing field. What happens after everyone is done hanging out? What happens when all the couples go home together, but you go home alone and it starts making you feel some type of way? In my situation, I let the ball drop and resorted to my old ways. I started masturbating again. I tried to justify it by rationalizing that it was loneliness. I started telling myself that this is the only way that I am going to cope with being abstinent. 1 john 3:20 tells us that God is greater than our feelings. Instead of remembering that, I kept getting caught up in my feelings.

I started to let my flesh rule in every area of my life. Crucifying my flesh was the last thing on my mind. That is one of the reasons it was so easy for me to fall back into old habits.  I tried to blame it on my friends getting married that triggered it. I believe, personally, that God used their relationship to deal with what was still in my heart: which was lust. The devil likes to play tricks on the mind and make you forget who you are in Christ. I started thinking and believing that God would never forgive me. I believed that I was a lost cause.

I really wanted to be set free from this, so I got an accountability partner. I wanted someone who has dealt with these same issues. It really helps to have someone who has been in your shoes. She has given great advice on how to overcome this. One of the things that she suggested was for me to start reading again. (You can’t go to battle without the correct armor and weaponry.) She also told me to start fasting again. Why fasting?  Fasting would help me to crucify my flesh. Whenever I would get those thoughts, I would start reading and praying. Both definitely helped. She also suggested that I exercise to help with some of the pent up tension I would sometimes get. I can happily say that I have not masturbated since the summer. The thoughts still come till this day. The verse that helps with those thoughts is 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” If you are like me and struggle with lusts of the heart, I hope this helps. Just stay strong and stay in your word. Do not give in to those fleshly desires.

Tia Williams