An anonymous commenter wrote "get a grip" about my last post, it made me think about masturbation.
A topic that doesn't get mentioned much in blogs. I was a bit perturbed recently when the American publisher of our book edited one of the prayers the line said "I am struggling with masturbation and lust" the publishers removed the word masturbation.
It annoyed me because this is a subject that people should feel they can talk to God about, and actually each other.
I remember when I was 15 I had my first ever word of knowledge, it was at a youth camp, there were about 200 people in the room, and I got up and said "I feel there are some people here who struggle with masturbation", looking back it's funny because it's a dead cert word in a room with that many teenagers!!!!
Is it a sin? It doesn't get a mention in the bible, but to many that isn't a strong enough argument. Lustful thoughts, now thats a sin, what we do with them is a choice.
For me masturbation falls in to the category of self love, a selfish act, we are called to die to self.
Many guys I know who struggle with this area do so because they masturbate with images of people they know in their minds, this is primarily because they are relational guys. This of course brings a lot of guilt, but knowing it's because they are relational should help them see that it's their light side being overshadowed by darkness.
For others it is just any image.
My feeling is it's not the act thats wrong but what goes on in the mind whilst committing the act.
Another common thought is "once I get married I won't struggle with this anymore" this isn't true.
Romans 14 is very helpful on this subject, I found this written by a guy called Lance Pierson:
1. (Verse 1 -2) Different Christians have different points of view and different opinions. Gods will for one person might not be the same as his solution and provision for another. What is right for one may be wrong for another.
2. (verse 3-4) We need to respect, not condemn, those who have a different opinion on certain areas than ours.
3. (verse 5) We should make our minds up and not keep changing our own interpretation.
4. (verse 6 - 9) Whatever action we take and decision we reach, we should seek to honour Jesus and express thanks to God.
5. (verse 10 - 12) We must be ready to explain our choices to God when he judges us at the end of the world!!
6. (Verse 13 - 21) Don't do anything that will harm a fellow christian
7. (Verse 22) In the last resort it's a matter between you and God, keep your conscience clear before Him.
8. (Verse 23) If in doubt about anything don't do it
For me the worst thing about all this is that we have made it hard to talk about if stuff remains hidden, people end up thinking that they are the only one who has a problem and then live in turmoil. We need to bring these things out into the light.
For further thinking on this check out xxx church