A spiritually unhealthy habit, masturbation instills attitudes that foster self-centeredness and corrupt the mind.* A masturbator may also grow to view others as mere sex objects—tools for sexual satisfaction. Sex becomes separated from love and is relegated to a reflex that gives momentary pleasure and relieves sexual tension. But that relief is only temporary. In reality, instead of deadening the body’s members “as respects sexual immorality, uncleanness, [and] uncontrolled sexual passion,” masturbation arouses them.—Colossians 3:5.
The apostle Paul wrote: “Beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) If you are struggling to heed these words, do not give in to despair. Jehovah is always “ready to forgive” and to help. (Psalm 86:5; Luke 11:9-13) Indeed, your self-condemning heart and your efforts to give up the habit—despite occasional relapses—indicate a good attitude. Keep in mind, too, that “God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) God sees more than our sins; he sees the whole person. This knowledge enables him to hear with sympathy our earnest pleas for mercy. So never weary of turning to God in humble and earnest prayer, like a child who goes to his father when in trouble. Jehovah will bless you with a cleansed conscience. (Psalm 51:1-12, 17; Isaiah 1:18) Of course, you need to take positive steps in harmony with your prayers. For example, you would strive to avoid all forms of pornography as well as bad associates.*
^ par. 1Masturbation is the stroking or rubbing of the genital organs, commonly resulting in orgasm.
^ par. 2 As a practical step in controlling the use of a home computer, many families keep it in a public area. Additionally, some households purchase software that filters out undesirable material. No system, though, is completely reliable.
^ par. 1 For practical suggestions on how to overcome masturbation, see the article “Young People Ask . . . How Can I Conquer This Habit?” in the November 2006 issue of Awake!, and pages 178-182 of the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work, Volume 1.