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Faith Counsellor: Is masturbation a sin?

Published:Saturday | June 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Joan,

I have been saved for a while now and I really have no desire to commit fornication.

So when I get the overwhelming strong desire for sex, I just masturbate to relieve the tension.

However, every time I do it, I get a sense of guilt. I am doing it just so I don't have to sleep with any man. But although it makes me feel good, by the time I am through, I feel guilty and ashamed.

I don't think it is a sin, so how come I am suffering from this deep feeling of guilt? I am so confused. I am looking out for your response.

- P.S.


Dear P.S.,

To be honest with you, I have not seen this matter addressed anywhere in the Bible, so I can't say whether it is a sin, but what I can look at is the reason behind you masturbating. Your strong desire for sex must come about through lustful thoughts or feeding your mind on stuff that triggers the desire in you.

Your own sense of right and wrong is also speaking to you. The mere fact that after you have performed the act you have strong feelings of guilt is an indication that you are far from comfortable with what you are doing.

Anything you are doing - be it masturbation, taking something that doesn't belong to you or lying - once you have feelings of guilt, then you should pay attention.

Although the Bible doesn't specifically come out with a verse to talk about this issue, it does say that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and as such, whatever you do to it should be done to the glory of God.

- Joan

Addicted to soap operas

Dear Joan,

I am having a serious problem and I am craving your help in solving it. I am totally addicted to soap operas! I am hooked on 'The Young and the Restless' and 'Bold and Beautiful'. I am also a 'Generations' fan. It got so bad that when I am in church, and if it takes too long to be dismissed, I start getting impatient as I know the 2:30 p.m. two-hour run will miss me.

I start checking my watch every few minutes and just want to leave so I can head home. Most days, I can't wait for the next day to come so I can once again get caught up with the drama unfolding on the screen.

You don't have to tell me that this is not a healthy practice, I already know that. It's just that I can't control the desire to feast.

- Trapped


Dear Trapped,

I am so happy you realise that what you are describing is far from healthy for you. Soap operas have nothing wholesome to offer you spiritually. While the drama surrounding the characters' lives may be riveting and has you hooked, outside of that it is just robbing you of precious time you could have been spending reading your Bible or doing something more productive. True, it might not be easy to give them up, but you can if you really want to. Start by missing one episode, then another. Every time you are tempted to watch, resist and find something else to do.

I am not saying watching soap operas is bad, but if it has you so much into them, then something is definitely wrong there. You should not be thinking about what happens next, impatient for the next episode. That simply means it has overtaken your thought processes. In your case, I would let it go all together. Pray, ask God for the strength, and start turning away from them. The power of determination will see you through.

- Joan

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