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Part 2 is the best way to launch this commentary. It is a definite response to those who appealed for help after my recent article, "'I'm Ashamed to Admit I Have a Problem With Masturbation.'"
One person expressed it this way: "I appeal for part 2. This area is epidemic-especially among men. Please don't leave us hanging. We need more info and real solutions!"
So that's exactly what we will do. Let's lay out a strategy for success.
If you haven't read the initial article, I encourage you to start by clicking here so you have a solid foundation for what follows. If you did read it, why not go through it once again. As the late Zig Ziglar said, "Repetition is the mother of learning."
The response generated by the commentary is no surprise. Ever since I wrote a book almost 40 years ago entitled Why Wait Till Marriage?, I've found issues related to sex draw lots of questions and attention. And that's a good thing so long as the answers come from sound, scriptural counsel.
Here's the deal: Those who are teachable and approach God for guidance in humility receive life-giving wisdom to bless their lives. Those who are prideful and twist the Scriptures for selfish reasons are resisted by God, don't progress and usually live defeated and depressed.
James 4:6 tells us, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Our Creator is not neutral toward the proud but opposes them. If there's one person in all the universe you don't want opposing you, it's Almighty God!
Proverbs 28:13 instructs us, "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper (advance; go forward) but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
In other words, those who make excuses and rationalize sinful activity experience consequences and a residue of guilt that hold them back in a discouraged and depressed life.
Multitudes of people today are seeking relief and escape from the dealings of God in unbiblical ways. They're experiencing the conviction of a loving God who is lovingly "pressing down" on them to bring them into relationship with Him and freedom from the bondage of sin. "For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped ... Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity" (Ps. 32:4-5).
God gave us a conscience to alert us when we're going down destructive paths. It's like the "idiot light" on our dashboard warning us of danger ahead. When that red light glows, we're not to smash it and ignore the signal but rather pause and make adjustments to proceed ahead.
This is what many people wanted to do after reading the article on masturbation; yet not everyone.
Here's a sampling of some negative feedback:
- "You don't have to be ashamed. It's not a problem!"
- "To call this sin is a gross misrepresentation of scripture... legalistic... getting people into guilt and condemnation to spend a lifetime unable to get victory over it because someone told them it is SIN!"
- "The subject is dumb... a really dumb article."
- "Problem? This is not a problem – masturbation is not fornication. Since when is fornication the same as masturbation?" [Neither Scripture nor I stated this!].
- "This is ridiculous! What is the biblical basis for saying such a thing is something to be delivered from?"
And then there were positives:
- "Thank you. For five years I've lived victorious with just three falls along the way. Jesus told us if our hand causes us to sin we should cut it off. He was not meaning this literally but for emphasis so we avoid the destructiveness of sin. I thank Him for victory!"
- "Great work! I worked in juvenile detention and listened as leaders actually instructed young people to relieve sexual tension by masturbation."
- "No one has to live in shame! We've been set free from sin. We can overcome sinful practice by His grace and power. Many no longer blush showing how far we've fallen."
As we proceed let me underscore that we approach this issue totally from a biblical worldview. The Bible addresses every situation we face in life including dealing with sexual desires and masturbation. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right" (2 Tim. 3:16, NLT).
We follow the divine blueprint for God's glory and our good. Those outside of God's kingdom will often ridicule these standards and mock God and His people. We mustn't be surprised. "But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It also sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means" (1 Cor. 2:14).
Recently atheist comedian Bill Maher and lesbian commentator Rachel Madow teamed up on his RealTime cable show to lampoon a student booklet entitled "Mormons Overcoming Masturbation: a Guide to Self-control." Glamorizing immorality and using profanity and vulgarity they had the audience hootin' and hollerin' as they mocked students standing together against pornography and avoiding the snare of masturbation.
RadioShack, clinging for survival as a corporation, is trying edgy TV ads with a young boy and his father portraying masturbation as harmless, humorous and normal.
As we have abandoned Judeo-Christian standards in America, we are increasingly encouraged to "Indulge yourself" rather than "Control yourself." Will you genuflect to the ways of the world or stand strong to honor God and live holy?
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