How to Stop Masturbating and related secret sins

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After writing a number of blogs on sexual sin and its implications, I was compelled to write a blog on something practical that many men and women in the body of Christ struggle with. Masturbation. It is a terrible struggle for believers’ that thrives with secrecy. A few people have written to me to ask about it. How do we stop it? Many a times, the requests of a few brave ones reflect the thoughts of many. So, hopefully this post will help answer a few questions.

Is masturbating sinful?

Yes it is. The world in general celebrates masturbation. Jokes are made about it. Those who want out are made fun of. A few people try to justify it by saying that the Bible does not directly talk about it. Well, beloved, the Bible also does NOT directly talk about paedophilia, Internet pornography and a whole lot of things. However we know all those things are wrong in God’s eyes because of two things:

  • Firstly, the nudging of the Holy Spirit and his conviction. I was once caught in the rut of masturbation when I was growing in the faith. I didn’t need a verse from Deuteronomy and Leviticus to tell me, “Thou shall not masturbate!”  The Holy Spirit within us guides when we veer off God’s plan. And what is God’s plan? God’s plan for sexual gratification and satisfaction for his bride the Church is within the context of marriage.
  • Secondly, sin is not new; it’s only the delivery that has changed. And if you have the wisdom to see that, you will understand that the main issue behind masturbation is the sinful power of lust and not the mere act of the hands. And the word of God addresses that, no matter the deliver of the sin. The word of God goes into great detail to identify sin. If the world changes the duck to look like a sparrow, talk like a sparrow and walk like a sparrow, it is still a duck.

Sexual gratification outside God’s covenant has spiritual implications that include: distancing from fellowship, no spiritual growth, compromising in related areas of sin and invitation of evil spiritual forces from the enemy. Sin is like a carcass. It attracts the enemy, a scavenger, who prowls around like a prowling lion seeking someone to devour. Masturbating, pornography and sexual gratification outside God’s will breeds a lot of demonic oppression. The Holy Spirit works as a conscience to further convict us.

A masturbation addiction is a will power struggle. Why? Because sin is more than an act. Sin is a power! Timothy Keller once said, “What the heart trusts, the mind justifies, the emotions desire, and the will carries out.” Many believers who fall into the masturbation rut, get trapped because they trusted with their heart that the masturbation would be worth it. It probably sounded like this:

  • It will make me less stressed/ make me feel better
  • It will give me pleasure without guilt
  • I’m not hurting anyone

The temporal relief masturbation gives is not worth the pain it brings to a follower of Christ. In less than an hour, the guilt of masturbating tops up your “stress list.” It doesn’t take away the list. The world can never give you a lasting satisfaction. There lingers an emptiness in every human being that sex, money, beauty, pleasure, morality, fantasy, entertainment, justice, revenge, education human approval and virtually all perceived existence will never fill and will never satiate. The more we try, the emptier we become. We were built for more-spiritual intimacy with real satisfaction that only comes from the Creator of all that exists-Christ. Any pursuit of this inner satisfaction for any believer should never be derived from sexual gratification. A believer’s lasting, true satisfaction comes from Christ. He says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Even if masturbation is the heavy load, bring it to him today. Masturbation fools to fill that emptiness in us but once the short-lived pleasure is up, we realize that it made the hole bigger. It provides small tastes of short-lived bliss at the expense of your effectiveness as a believer. It is time to grow up beloved. A true satisfaction comes from the person of Christ. Shift your trust from your perception of the world and move it to the maker of the world.

So, here is what I charge you to do dear believer:

1) Confess masturbation to a mature believer/ group of believers

Masturbation thrives with secrecy. The first attack is to expose it! The Bible says in James 5:16a “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” Healing commences in confession. Find a group of godly men (for guys) and women (for ladies) who you can confess to and be vulnerable to. The enemy uses fear by telling you that you will be judged and that you are the only one with the problem. True believers in the body will embrace you, beloved. Fear not! The Lord will go ahead of you! Let the group ask you hard questions that will keep you on track. Have you been masturbating this week? Isn’t that movie going to make your problem worse?

Be your brother’s keeper. Form the group if you can’t find one and you will be surprised to have created a haven for healing for others with troubles. A confessed sin, I believe, is a sin half-dealt with. In the group, ensure that you always pray for each other. There is no power over sin without prayer! The last part of James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Sin is a power and not just an act. You need power to overcome it. You want power? Pray! “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” We are made righteous by Christ’s record not our own moral record. Confess sins and pray!

After confession, repent. Ask God for forgiveness and for power to overcome. The true sign of repentance is change. With God’s power, anticipate it!

2) Make the chances slim for sin

You will realize that your flesh is very creative! Despite being in an accountability group, sin’s nature is to avoid meeting and to even lie/ understate the real problems we have. In your personal purity life, get rid of every asset sin has. Don’t rationalize with sin, beloved. You will always lose. Here are a few environments that you need to watch out for and refuse to indulge the flesh at all costs.

  • Your bed. The warmth of the bed as you wake up is a hot spot for masturbation lust. When you wake up, get out of bed immediately. When you linger you lower your defense and you will be weak in future battles. Each victory strengthens you for the next and soon the war will be won.
  • Your computer. Surf in open places. Many people masturbate while indulging their eyes on pornographic images. Go online in the living room where everyone passes by and can see what you are doing. Download pornography filters such as X3Watch. www.X3watch.com to help you when nobody is home. Also visit http://www.XXXChurch.com/. Activate the SAFE SEARCH on your Google. It is located at the top right on the Google Images page.
  • Your phone.  Jesus said, if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out! I say, “If your iPhone causes you to sin, replace it with a basic Nokia x1.” A lot of masturbation starts when we have a privatised porn-shop i.e. our phone. If your have an Internet-enabled phone, replace it, beloved. Get a basic phone that can make your calls. Some people may say, “Ernest, that is too extreme!” Let me ask you something. When you gave your life to Christ and the devil declared you his enemy, do you think he was not extreme? When the world is attacking your spiritual stand and it goes full force, it is being extreme yet you don’t want to fight back. The moment, you came to Christ, you made your life a war ground for spiritual warfare. The battleground is not a petting zoo. The evil forces against you are loose. We have the weapons to overcome but we’re too worried about being extreme. I’ll tell you what. You can stop being extreme in your fight against lust, the day, the enemy decides to go on break. Replace your phone if it causes you to surf porn.

3) Discipline your biggest sexual organ

Your mind is the sex organ of all time. Masturbation and pornography are activated by the desire in the mind. When we fight the mind, we fight the sin. When we fight the act, we fight the scene. The scene of a person masturbating is a symptom. The sin is the root and it must be fought in the desire stage by taming the mind.

The word even says it in 1st Peter 2:11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”

The fight of masturbation and pornography is fought at the desire stage. According to 1st Peter 2:11, it is a fight for your soul. Why?

Because the moment you gave your life to Christ, you made a statement. You said that the world and the devil is your enemy. Your struggle is not just a physical discipline problem anymore. It has spiritual implications that may traverse your current understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Our mind’s thoughts need to submit to Christ!

Heather Lindsey once said, “Masturbation is nearly always the result of lustful thoughts, sexual stimulation, and/or pornographic images.” Your mind is fed by the viewing, the listening, the reading and the company you keep.

  • The viewing. People do not crumble in a day. If you understand the struggle you have, you will realize, it began with indulging the movies and television series with mild sensual scenes. You probably don’t watch porn, but you watch these programs with subtle nudity and the nudging of the Spirit has died because you suppressed it. Go back to the heart of worship and fix your eyes on pure things.
  • The listening. There is power in music. David played the harp and it sent the evil spirit away from Saul. The Sons of Israel went out into battle singing and God went before them to win the war without even drawing swords. Is the music you listen to carrying your Creator’s power of is it carrying another? Some of the top artists you celebrate propagate a lustful spirit in their music, videos and lifestyle. You need to decide whether your entertainment value overrides the worth of your soul. Music that glorifies Christ!
  • The reading. Being a writer, I can tell you this. We can make you see things that filmmakers cannot create. Words create images. Erotic literature should not exist in your shelf, beloved.
  • The company. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Company that cracks sensual jokes should be ejected from your life beloved. Stop hanging around people that celebrate your struggles.

As far as these four areas are concerned, Christ says-Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

But it is not enough to NOT do these things. You must also fill your mind with the right things. For darkness to flee, you must light a candle. So here is the light:

  • Good viewing:  Invest in clean entertainment
  • Good listening: I strongly suggest that for a believer, clean music is not enough, but spiritually building music.
  • Good reading: The world of building literature is enormous. I shamelessly market myself and say begin with THE HUMAN TEMPLE by Yours Truly! (See top right side of page)
  • Good company: Our company gives instruction to our ears and eyes which give instruction to our mind. May the instruction build!

4) Start a Media Fast

Take a fast from online social media, television, radio and literature. Spend that time in prayer. Starve the lust and build the spirit man. It is as if there are two dogs within you-one of lust, the other of Godliness. The one you feed more gains presence, prominence and preeminence. Start training to feed the right dog through a fast to starve the lust. In that time, spend time building the fallen dog. Feed him and empower him for future battles because I assure you, the struggle of lust will face you as it does every man.

5) Don’t punish yourself

If you fall, don’t be hard on yourself, beloved. Rise up! As you rise, remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13 “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

Memorize that verse and understand that as long as you are in Christ, you always have the power. He has infinite grace when we fall and where the sin abounds, his grace abounds more to keep us from falling.

Jude 24-25 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen

Once we stand, glory to him alone!

6) Stay healthy

When your body is out of sorts, your mind is weakened and so is your will power. Drink lots of water, eat healthy, and exercise beloved. Exercise has been known to decrease depression and keep one’s mind alert.

7) Be productive

I fold origami when I am free. The old adage that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop is quite right. Your free time should not be spent on Facebook or Twitter. It should be spent doing a constructive task. Many people whom I have talked to in the rut of masturbation have too much free time on their hands. Occupy that time with a productive activity. If you start wallowing in the self-pity of “poor me, I have no gifts,” you can sit back, relax and enjoy your time being used by something you can’t control. Be a good steward of your time, beloved.

8) Read, meditate, memorize, study and hear THE WORD OF GOD

If you fail to do this, you might as well forget about number 1-7 because you will be discouraged by failure. In the armour of God in Ephesians 6, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only offensive weapon for the believer. A sword is not a weapon for every Tom, Dick and Gregory. A sword is a weapon for a person with skill. One who has mastered the art of swordsmanship. The WORD OF GOD is your sword. Do you have skill with this sword? Or do you wield it aimlessly.

  • Read the word of God because your life will be blessed when you read, listen and obey (Revelation 1:3)
  • Meditate on the word of God because you will always be fruitful even in days of drought (Psalm 1)
  • Memorize the word of God because it will keep sin at bay and help you be pure. (Psalm 119:9-11)
  • Study the word of God because you will know the truth from the lies (Acts 17:11)
  • Hear the word of God from seasoned men and women in the faith because it will build your faith (Romans 10:17)

Now that you know these things

Beloved, I hope it helps. For now, all I can say is what Christ said to his disciples in John 13:17. “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

 

Comments

Ernest Wamboye is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a husband, a father, an author and a speaker. He has been married to the lovely Waturi since September 2012. They have a passion for youth ministry. Together they minister to young adults on the gospel and pre-marital relationships. Ernest has authored two books, The Human Temple, a novel, and Lust and the City- a guide on sexual purity.

Discussion52 Comments

  1. Very true. Resonates with a book I finished reading a while back, "Every Young Man's Battle". They offer the same practical advise as you. God bless you bro!

  2. You are the kind of person this generation needs today. May the Lord continue to use you for His glory.
    Check this out:

  3. Ernest, you have just coined a pragmatic way to overcome masturbation. Particularly I am stimulated by the eighth point.
    Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."
    This scripture should remind us that it is not our efforts that count in winning against masturbation but it is what Christ has already done for us.
    Therefore, I encourage anyone struggling with masturbation or other sexual lusts to believe in the grace of God and they will overcome.
    Sincerely, Ernest you are such a blessing to me. God bless you and keep you.

  4. The cold calculation and diabolic state of postmodernism is something that the Bible in Romans 1:18-32 has addressed, cautioning believers against pluralism and relativism. I have severally found myself in a twisted debate with many young men in High Schools erring my position concerning masturbation and sexual purity. I have really appreciated your informed biblical articulation and I thank God for such wisdom and discernment to save our generation.

  5. This piece is both spiritually sound and practical! To God be the glory for delivering you and enriching you to share. These steps work, I can testify.

  6. Hi earny….nw if i form a grup of yung lads luking to purify thmselvs…its adviceable that i still find a seasoned man to tek us throu?? i knw i cn help others but i dont want to be left behind in the healing process

  7. hey i am female…i fall under this category. but i am scared to tell anyone. i feel embarrassed, i feel like an outcast. what can i do?…who can take me through this journey. i hunger and thirst fro Christ but things are not easy on my side.

  8. I have always said that the one thing that destroys us as Christians is silence,we suffer in silence as we depict and try to put up a picture of righteousness and being okay…while we know for a fact that we are not okay and are dying inside.SPEAK SPEAK SPEAK….

    Thank you so very much for sharing Earnest,this is a topic that I thank God for using you to speak so boldly and openly about.Many Christians shun away from the topic and even prefer to act like it does not exist within the Christian circles,while we know that most of our Churches today are dealing with the same 'unspoken' sin.

    What you have said is true and indeed,we have to be extreme,the devil will never play nice with us or be nice to us for that matter…if your eye,leg or hand causes you to sin,remove it.Its that extreme,its better to go in maimed than miss heaven all together.When we got saved,immediately the devil put up wanted posters of us all over hell…don't expect him to treat you all nice when there is a reward out for your head-never ever!

    As I said…I LOVE your blogs and read them a lot…today's has been exceptional…may God richly bless you and continue to use you.

    Baraka

  9. Just like all addictions, it starts out as 'fun' but in the end its a bondage. Thank you for being bold to write about the topic. I'd also want to refer anyone whose struggling with self gratification and sexual sin to http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com, the way of purity 60 day course. Indeed Christ is enough to help us deal with our struggles. God bless you Ernest…keep on

  10. You are a smart writer…keep on the good work.I am a new member at CITAM church.Today after you preached on the holy spirit,i went and googled your name,your profile,your work,your interview on KTN.I have read your blogs.You guy you write…..I will be seeing you soon.You have given me a new sense of purpose.Great guy

  11. Thanksgiving and Prayer

    4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
    5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.
    6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
    7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

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