A few days ago I wrote an article called what is wrong with masturbation? In it I gave 20 reasons why masturbation is dangerous to anybody that indulges in it as an ongoing practice.
I want to make it clear as early as possible in this article that my only intention for addressing this topic is to help liberate everyone that is currently under the bondage of self-gratification. I am not trying to make a point of “holier than thou.”
I will be the first one to admit that I personally suffered greatly from this practice. I also stand to be a living testimony of victory over this and other sexual addictions. It is this fact that informs me to share my experience with as many as are willing to listen.
Allow me to immediately go straight to the point. Before I begin to go to the list of how to overcome masturbation and other sex addictions, let me make one more point. When I talk about how wrong masturbation is, I am not really referring to wet dreams. The wet dream experience is almost impossible to control, because the person this happens to is usually asleep or in a state of unconsciousness when it happens. I also don’t think that cases where individuals engage in the act of masturbation occasionally and unintentionally, could be regarded as carrying the same consequences as those that I wrote about in my previous article.
When you are set free from something as dangerous as masturbation, it does not always happen once and for all. It could be a process. Even though you are free, you could still relapse once in a while. In this case the most important thing is to keep moving forward and not fall into the abyss of it again.
CONCRETE STEPS TO OVERCOMING MASTURBATION AND OTHER SEXUAL ADDICTIONS:
1. PROTECT YOUR THOUGHTS
You must realize that everything we do or act out in the physical realm is only as a result of our thoughts. Our thoughts don’t really come from us. Most people don’t really know this, as a result they tend to accept or assume that once they have a certain thought that means they are the ones responsible for it. In the real sense, thoughts are suggestions to us from the outside world. Our thoughts originate from our five sensory organs.
• What we see
• What we hear
• What we touch
• What we taste
• What we smell
These five senses determine what comes to our minds and what we think about. For example, if you see some graphic pictures, the fact that you saw them, means there is an automatic signal sent to your brain. Your brain then turns those signals into thoughts.
On the other hand thoughts produce feelings. Once the thoughts come to our mind, our feelings then correspond to what we have thought about. So our thoughts generate a corresponding feeling. Feelings then lead us to act accordingly. When those actions are repeated over time, they become our habits.
This therefore leads us to the very secret of how to overcome masturbation, addictions or any other bad habit. We must go back to where the journey starts. The journey begins from where we direct our sense to: what we look at, what we listen to, what we touch, what we smell and what we taste. If you therefore want to stop masturbation, the simple and easy way of doing it is to guard your eyes, ears, and what you touch. Make sure you don’t look at pictures, movies and images that will arouse or provoke your sexual desires. I know that in the world we live in today, it is almost impossible to totally eliminate such images from our sights.
The statistics of sexual suggestion to an average man stands at one million suggestions within a year. So every man stands a chance of been tempted sexually a million times in a year. That is about 3,000 suggestions in a day. However, through our decisions and purposeful actions to control what we see, hear, touch, etc. we can significantly reduce the destructive influence of sexual suggestions on our minds. Once you can achieve that goal of controlling your eyes, ears and touch, you will have significantly reduced the amount of times sexual desires compel you to satisfy yourself.
2. REFUSE TO OPEN THE DOOR
What do we do in such cases when we have already involuntarily looked at something or heard something provocative to our sexual desires? Since it is basically impossible to isolate ourselves from this world, there would be cases when we find out that the thoughts are already in our minds. That is, sexual suggestions are already knocking at our mental doors.
In such a case we need to adopt another strategy. This strategy of victory over sexual attacks and all other temptations comes from the lesson God gave to Cain.
In Gen 4:7
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
It says sin lies at the door and it desires to take you, but you should rule over it. What this suggests is that when a thought comes to our mind, for us to engage in the act, our will and consent is still needed. That is what we mean by sin is at your door suggesting, knocking, etc. In such a case what do you do?
a. Neglect or ignore it
b. Focus on other things
c. Change the image before your eyes or change what you are hearing.
d. Cast it down. Cast down the thought. Overthrow it. That is, speak to it. “I don’t need you!” Do not negotiate with it, just cast it out and reject it.
e. Forget about it and move on.
3. DON’T SUBMIT
Never submit in your mind and thoughts with the idea that masturbation is okay and there is really nothing you can do about it. Whatever we agree with eventually dominates us. Once you accept the thoughts that there is nothing you can do about it, you are defeated and dominated. Hence in this case, always take a stand against knowing that masturbation is not your master. Always see yourself above and not under it.
The Bible says:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. James 4:7
This scripture gives us a principle talking about the power of our will. If you refuse to give up under any circumstances, you are not going to be defeated. When your stance is that of resisting evil, sin or temptations, whatever it is flees from you. Make sure you take a stand to resist the enemy our feelings or sexual suggestions and they will flee from you. Meanwhile, be submitted to God, rest in God, and let your confidence and peace be in God. Trust in him. Know he is on your side.
5. THINK AND PRAY LESS ABOUT IT
One of the reasons why I could not overcome masturbation in time was because I was always praying about it. Once you keep on praying about it, it means you keep on thinking about it. Hence as a result, I was drowning myself while praying that God should take me out of the water.
When it comes to masturbation, your main purpose is not to even think about it. Once you are determined to pray it through. You will be going down the more that is why masturbation is so popular in the church about Christians. Hence the key is just to forget it, don’t open that door. If you pray about it, do it a minimum of times and, move on after that.
6. STOP TALKING YOURSELF OUT OF IT
Another reason why most people cannot get out of masturbation is because they try to talk themselves out of it. They keep on trying to convince themselves about how wrong this is. “Is it really wrong or not?” “How bad is it?” They keep on thinking of how horrible it feels. They deliberate within themselves on why they should not do it.
Friends, as long as you keep it in your mind, you are in bondage to it. Don’t deliberate on it at all. Satan likes that kind of situation, when you are fighting in a dark room within yourself and nobody knows it, that is a failed course. Stop thinking about it all together – Move on!
7. STOP STRATEGIZING
A lot of young people keep themselves in that dark room of their mind in an attempt to figure out how to strategize against masturbation. The more you think about those strategies the more you are reminded about your weakness. Remember whatever you think about creates a feeling. Soon from strategy you will go to practice. Please just stop it! Forget it thing even exists! Get yourself busy, face your business and move on with your life.
8. FOCUS CREATES REALITY
What most people don’t know about reality is that we all don’t take reality for what they are. Realities are only what we accept as realities. Realities are what we caught into our focus. So whatever we focus on becomes our reality. If your focus is on masturbation, either you are thinking of how to overcome it, or praying about it, masturbation becomes your reality. Focus on other things in your life and that will change your reality.
9. DECREASE OR MAGNIFY
When it comes to masturbation everything depends on the power of the mind. What our mind focuses on increases. We magnify everything in our lives through and by our focus. The key therefore to reduce the impact of anything over and upon us is to reduce our focus and emphasis on the thing. If you want the topic of masturbation and other sexual suggestions to lose its power and its grip over your life, reduce it by paying less attention to it and by laying less emphasis on it.
When you think about it and talk about it all the time, you make it bigger in real sense.
10. STOP CONDEMNING YOURSELF
One of the immediate consequences of masturbation is the thought of self-condemnation.
Believe in the scripture which says;
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1John 1:9
When we confess our sins he forgives us!
Another scripture says:
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins. Isa 43:25
If God is not remembering you should not remember. One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to kill you through your own hands, the weapon is self-condemnation.
11. TRYING TO BE PERFECT
One main weapon of the enemy in fighting masturbation is the desire of Christians to try to be perfect. We often think perfection means, never do anything wrong, never fail, never make mistakes. That is not perfection that is actually pride and arrogance.
Perfection in this kingdom means realizing your imperfection and continuously striving to become better by accepting the grace of God to help you conform to his image and likeness. When we strive to be perfect in our own minds and power, we fail horribly. So stop trying to be perfect in the flesh. Your perfection is in God. It is not you that is your own righteousness, God is your righteousness. Rely more on him by faith rather than trying to reply on your works and efforts.
12. GIVE ROOM FOR FAILURE
When you are coming out of sexual addictions especially masturbation, you should give some room for failures, in the sense that it might not immediately work out for you to completely leave without stumbling occasionally. So if you were engaging in masturbation once a day before and it has reduced to once a month, just keep on believing God that it will totally go. Keep believing till it becomes once in 6 months, once a year, until you are totally free from it.
Don’t get me wrong, you could be instantly free, after all science says it takes just 21 days to cultivate a new habit, but the point I am trying to make is, don’t be too hard on yourself.
“For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.” Prov. 24:16
Take note that despite the fact that he is falling several times, God still calls him the righteous. As long as you are striving to live righteously he sees you as righteous. That is the good news with our God.
13. DON’T LET MASTURBATION DEFINE YOU
Often, young people with good intentions begin to define themselves by what they do, so a person who masturbates, begins to see himself as a sinner, not like God sees him or who he is in Christ. He wrongly allows what he does to define him. The truth is that you’re not your sin.
99% of you might be good. The little 1% act of imperfection in your character or behavior cannot negate all the 99% positive character traits in you. Know you are accepted before God. Know that your sin or your failure is not you. That in itself will help to detach you, your personality, and your identity from that sin or weakness. Leading you to overcome it faster since you are not carrying the corpse of that sin with you anymore.
14. HAVE THE RIGHT IDENTITY
Think right about yourself. If you want to overcome sexual addiction and masturbation in particular, see yourself as God sees you. Address yourself as a son of God. You are a kingdom citizen. See yourself as God’s image, God’s likeness. Stop seeing yourself as a sinner or a masturbator. See yourself as a lover of God and a worshiper of God. If you feel you have done something wrong, forgive yourself of it and stand right before God.
15. TURN DISADVANTAGE TO ADVANTAGE
Any mistake, failure or weakness you have must be viewed as a reason to desire God more. When you fail, you realize your imperfection and that should make you to want to get closer to God more. Not by thinking of your failure, but by thinking of becoming more like Him, like His character, like His nature, how to emulate Him.
Anytime you fail or fall, let it renew your determination to be more broken, to desire God more, and to strive to come closer to Him.
16. FOCUS MORE ON YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS
As I have said above, what you focus on becomes bigger. It also becomes your reality. Let your main focus in life be in looking for ways and means of how to please God more and how to glorify Him more. Think more about the strategy and tactics of how to do this. That is much better than thinking more of your sin or weakness.
17. GOD’S POWER IS PERFECTED IN OUR WEAKNESSES
Sometimes, the most important things to happen to us are our weaknesses, otherwise we will be full of pride, self-righteousness. This could even lead us to think we are God ourselves. I therefore will like to suggest that you listen to God’s instruction to Paul.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2corinthians 12:10
18. LET THE MOVIES GO
I have discovered that as a young man, watching movies was one of the main things that was always leading me to the act of practicing masturbation. Unfortunately in our world today, most movies that are not documentaries, have sexual scenes in them. Even if they are not out rightly erotic or pornographic, they still give you enough sexual suggestions for you to keep on playing long after the movie is over.
As a journalist by profession, I know this could be one of the ways sex is programmed into our subconscious mind. So for over 20 years, I stopped watching movies and I am better for it. Soon after I did, masturbation disappeared from my life. I am convinced that if you stop watching movies, 80% of sexual suggestions in your life will be gone.
19. BECOME A GOD LOVER INSTEAD OF A LOVER OF PLEASURE
The first and greatest commandment in the Bible is love. Loving God! We get in trouble though when we love God, but not as God has said we should love him. God’s requirement is that we love him with all our heart, soul and strength.
So when we don’t love him fully, then Satan has a place. Anything we don’t fill with God, Satan will fill it with sin. If you are 90% in love with God, Satan will fill the other 10% for you. One of the ways to overcome masturbation is to fully fall in love with God, with all your heart, soul, body and strength.
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. ‘This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
20. Apply the power of the blood
Not too many Christians talk about the power of the blood of Jesus these days, but that power is still much needed today. We need the power of the blood all the time in our lives. You might want to apply by faith the protective power of Jesus on your mind and on your thought life from time to time. Put yourself under the authority of the blood of Jesus. Therein lies a powerful tool to victory.
Dear friends, I hope I have been able to help you to a degree with these concrete steps on how to overcome masturbation and other sexual sins in your life. I pray that you will experience the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that empowers us to be free from sin. I also want to encourage all of you who are reading this article to share it with other people, teach it to young men and women around you. Let’s foil the work of the enemy, let God reign Supreme in our lives and in our nations.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja