Different Strokes – Self Service

The Bible does not directly mention pornography or masturbation. So is there a problem with it? Is it wrong? Is it a sin?


We live in a self-service world. I do what I want, when I want, how I want – and when I am done, I tell the world when I want, how I want. This is the nature of our world. Our sex life and our sexuality have not been left out. Sex is also available on self-service. Self-pleasure is encouraged as a viable choice for our sexuality.

Masturbation: If you are not getting sex when you want it or how you want it … you can get it now. . Yes you can! There are pornographic sites you can visit, sex toys you can use and inexpensive masturbation styles you can engage in! Some of us look so holy though … but for a silent majority –there is also fantasy [dreaming, mind games, mental fixation to people, objects and events that are outside of your marriage commitment – sleeping with someone else in your mind. They will never refuse you, there will be no child involved as a result and more so, no one will ever catch you with your secret lover! You’re both safe

When people are asked what they think of masturbation – the experience of sexual orgasm produced by self-stimulation – the feedback is quite telling. Some said that masturbation is

  • Very much within reach and can be done anytime
  • A safe alternative to risky sexual behaviour
  • It is endorsed by scientists
  • A great substitute to infidelity if your wife or husband is ill, unfit or inexperienced – then a dildo may do it for you

Masturbation is something that one can easily devise for their own preference and style. Others are inadvertently introduced to it, by force or as a result of unfortunate circumstances.

Pornography: For many this is not physical – it is visual and mental. This can be done by pure imagination or by pictures or movies or stories or real persons. These images almost always involve men or women as sexual objects – or what some media outlets call sex symbols.  That’s where pornography comes in. To start with, did you know that some of the best business minds in the world are working really hard to get us hooked on pornography, because there’s huge money to be made? Masturbation and its mental cousin, pornography are a real problem for us in our society. That is why we feel that we must address it here at Mavuno and do our best to hear God’s voice on it. This is the world we live in and we must be willing to engage – as people who Jesus said are “in this world, but not of it.”

The Bible doesn’t directly mention pornography or masturbation. So is there a problem with it? Is it wrong? Is it a sin?  After all – it is not harming anyone else, it isn’t detrimental to my spouse, it feels good and meets my sexual urges!  So then we ask: Is porn/masturbation/fantasy –self-service sex – get me what I want now – is it an issue?

Sermon text: 1 Corinthians 6:15 – 16

Background: Paul was writing to the Christians in Corinth, a Greek cosmopolitan, multicultural, large city with many new ideas and very liberal in its time. It had a reputation among Greeks for its many vices. Gluttony, lewdness and even incest are mentioned by Paul because people came with them into the church.  So this is the nature of the society Paul was writing to – anything could happen and no one had any beef with it. But there were lies in how the society viewed the issue of sexual conduct. Even among those in the church of Corinth.

Lie: No one else is affected.

A self-service mentality in our sexuality teaches you to look inwards for your own needs. But you see success and thriving in our world is interdependent. We were created within and for community. 1 Cor 12: 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. Your choice can affect someone else. You are part of a bigger community. You are not by yourself. Your actions do affect others. You are not by yourself and your actions do affect others. 1 Cor 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! We were created within community. 1 Corinthians 10: 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. The lie is that no one else is affected, the truth is that we are all connected.

Lie: My spouse is not affected- in fact it is good for them! 1 Corinthians 6: v.16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” When we are self-service oriented in pornography and masturbation then we struggle to relate with our spouses and to allow to them to meet our needs. Because we have united ourselves with someone else mentally, and we have taught our bodies to have sexual intimacy by ourselves. It also hinders our ability to seek and accept God’s help for our situation – sexual or otherwise. 1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

Scripture teaches us that sex according to God’s pattern was meant to be in a committed marriage relationship. Self-help takes out the relationship and puts ‘me’ and ‘myself’ at the centre of it. It short-circuits God’s plan for emotional connection that is enhanced by that physical sharing of each other’s body. Extra marital fantasies with people outside of your relationship of commitment do not build – but destroy what God has given you. They draw your attention away from legitimate commitment. They give your mind an unrealistic expectation over the real people you have. Jesus in Mathew 5:27-30 shows that even thoughts fall into the category of sin.

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Some people think it is supposed to help but it doesn’t. It only has the potential to destroy.  The lie is that no one else is affected, the truth is that we are all connected.  The other lie is that your spouse isn’t affected, in fact they are helped- the truth is that the only person you are supposed to have sex with is your spouse with whom you share your bodies.

You Belong to Someone Else Pornography may not be as strongly supported but many support the positive effects of masturbation.  It is said that it –  A safe alternative if you are not completely satisfied by the prowess or lack of it of your spouse or partner It is inherently neutral or even innately good (it can give a man a longer staying power if done a little before the actual thing)  others say that one needs to masturbate before going on a date, so that they are not thinking of sex during the date [I’ve got to admit this was very new to me] It is not messing anyone, it is not unhealthy and, it meets the need at your convenience. You can get it now. Why do you have to wait when you can get it now? This is the Lie: I am not affected – and it is good for me. This may have been said of masturbation but when I listen to the stories of those who are working through it, I hear a different perspective. It may be recommended, or even the easiest thing to do, you may have stumbled into it inadvertently or even forced into it – but it isn’t what God intended for you.

Self-service sex: has the potential to master you and take over your life. Paul teaches us – 12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Self-service sex: are sins against your own body. You may be gratifying yourself but you are defiling your own body. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

Self-service sex: violates God’s dwelling place. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

Self-service sex: cheapens the high sacrificial price paid up for you. You don’t belong to you.

  • God has provided a second chance for you – your life was bought at a price
  • God has made promises for your life – your life was paid for at a price
  • God wants to heal you – there was a price
  • God wants to provide for you – there was a price
  • God wants you to live eternally with him- there was a price.

Your sins may have eventually killed or maimed you – you are alive because Jesus paid the ultimate price

  • v.19 You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.

We do not need to succumb to the do it yourself get it now lie. What if:

You choose like Joseph in the Bible to flee. Paul also says to flee all sexual immorality.

You boycotted bridal showers that you know will feed you the lies and the stag nights that will mess you or someone else up

Switched off TV, radio or movies that feed the lies or your fantasy

You signed up to an accountability web-service to track porn use with friends. Limit your internet accessibility – cut it off from home – if it’s lying to you or messing you up then cut it off

You uninstall the phone apps that lead you to sin.

Throw away the dildos, magazines, and books which perpetuate the lie that I can do it myself.

You choose to saturate yourself with God’s truth. Take your time in the matatu to listen to the Bible. [Live Bible, Tecarta KJV Bible, Youversion Bible – all have some form of audio bible reader.]. His Word, one verse a day, one chapter a day every day.

Psalm 119:10 I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

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8 Responses to “Different Strokes – Self Service”

  1. What about the person unlikely to ever get married? Should they have the same unrealisitc standards when there is no outlet for these desires? This sermon focuses on married people, but what about those who may not get married, but who are not having sex at all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The world is an imperfect place. As such, we have many desires that never get met. For example people dying of hunger when food is a basic need. Me thinks that in a place where someone has no outlet for their own desires they should look at it as a trial and seek God for help to deal with it on a daily basis because it is indeed very difficult. In my opinion any thing else can be looked at as a hungry person stealing food. The world might understand but at the end of the day its not God’s will for us to steal but to trust Him for provision or to carry us through the trial.


    • Exodus 20: 15 “You shall not steal.

      Thanks Stella, I hear you. But here is the Bible verse which condemns stealing. It is reductive to compare the two, or to relate it to any other topic don’t you think?


    • Three thousand years later… yes you are right. the bible does not give an explicit mention but I recently learnt that the bible is tool to seek Gods face and heart about different matters and as such may not have explicit references to many things we face. My response was a personal conviction which I believe is right but God would have to speak to you too about the same. Alex Shianda below also has some great insight on the principles whatever we do has to be governed by the principles we learn and we do learn about patience, suffering and the trials that we go through in this life


  2. this blessed me… am glad you are talking abt this. cant wait for next Sunday


  3. If the Bible does not directly mention masturbation, then how can you make the declaration that one is defiling their own body? What is the biblical basis for this?
    I am not challenging, I am honestly asking.


    • HI April.

      The bible does not mention many things directly e.g. the internet, farting, lip gloss, staplers… 🙂 The morality of these things/biblical basis is by indirect bible verses on the subject.

      For example, three reasons are given from this sermon from my reading

      1) it is wrong when it is an obsession 1 cor 10:24 the bible is very clear as highlighted; any obsession is sin. Further Eccl 7:18 says the same

      2)the “self-service” aspect i.e. rather than developing personal relationships one can “satisfy” oneself. Love is not self seeking 1 cor 13

      3) The connection of masturbation with sexual fantasies which Jesus had strong words about Matthew 5:27-30

      I think a more intriguing question would be if the bible has reasons for when masturbation is okay and what the biblical basis if it would be seeing it does not directly speak of it 🙂


  4. Hi, Thanks for the great initiative. i have read your sermon and like the verses recommended. Now a lasting way would be to look at the root cause of the problem. don’t limit it to prayer and verses. is it an issue of self-esteem? did something happen to drive you to current actions? what happened? what are the facts? what story did you create to justify your actions OK? I would recommend a follow up of the sermons with an actual opportunity for support/assistance with a coach/experienced counselor. If you need contacts of coaches/counselors I can share with you


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