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You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;'                but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.                If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                'It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'                but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.                'Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,'                but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;                nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.                Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black.                But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.                'You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'*                But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.                If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.                Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.                Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.                'You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor,* and hate your enemy.*'                But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,                that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.               
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I Will Not Lose the Battle of Life

Author: Testimony,
Love One Another! 14/2009 → True Love Waits - Pure Hearts

Love One Another!

I wish to share with you my experience of the consequences of masturbation. My “adventure” with self-abuse began seven years ago, when I was fifteen years old. At that time I did not even know the meaning of the term. All I knew was that it felt good and gave me pleasure. But the pleasure was momentary and right after it my conscience would trouble me. But I made light of it and always found some rationalization for my action. The worst of it was that I did not confess the sin in confession.

The urge to masturbate grew stronger and stronger, and so, in search of new experiences, I turned to pornographic magazines and films. This gave me incredible pleasure. I was well and truly hooked. I downloaded pornographic photos and films and masturbated over them. Before long this pseudo-freedom became my curse. I did not want to sin, but I did anyway. Eventually I began to confess my sin in confession, but a day or two later I would give in to it again. My attempts to master the habit lacked resolve. I began to play a very dangerous “game” with God. “Lord,” I would say to Him, “I am going to commit a little sin, but in your great mercy you will forgive me.” I had heard once that to sin while counting on God’s mercy was a serious sin against the Holy Spirit, but I paid no attention to this.

At a certain point I lost control over myself. Masturbation took over my life. I quarreled with my loved ones, breathed hatred all around, suffered from strange, terrifying thoughts, held myself in loathing, and looked on every girl as an object of sexual pleasure. True, I continued to pray, but this was pseudo-prayer. I mouthed the words, but my thoughts were miles away. In fact I did not know how to pray. My mind was fouled up with pornographic images. I thought of nothing but dirty pictures, films, and arousing myself. Such was the drab existence of a teenage boy, who ought to have throbbed with life. I never had a girlfriend. I sorely missed having someone close to me: someone I could have normal conversations with, go on walks with, and confide in. But I was afraid of having a relationship with a girl, since I feared I might do her harm.

Because of pornography and masturbation I remain a moral wreck to this day. Self-abuse is a contemptuous, loathsome, and gross habit that insinuates itself in your mind, and then there is no eradicating it. The pictures, films, everything you have stuffed into your mind for so many years, constantly obtrude into your memory at the most unexpected times. I continue to struggle with my temptations, my lusts, and myself. The battle is up and down. Sometimes I win, more often I lose. But thanks to God I have woken from my lethargy and I do not want to lose the battle of life.

I have found an excellent film on the Internet that reveals the moral quagmire of pornography. Along with other helpful materials it has opened my eyes. I know now that I am not alone in my struggle with this addiction. Dear readers! If you find yourself mired in the sin of self-abuse and pornography, allow Jesus to pull you out of it. Only He can heal your heart and soul. You need to have Jesus on your side and trust Him implicitly. Satan is very good at causing souls to lose heart. “You are so deeply mired in it now,” he says, “there is no point in putting up a fight. One way or the other Jesus will not forgive you for what you have done. You are not worth being called a child of God!” But remember the Prodigal Son! Jesus is always waiting for us with open arms — even the most hardened of sinners. 

I find it hard to forgive myself for ruining so many beautiful years of my youth. I continue to struggle, and so I ask you to pray for me and all those who find themselves mired in the sin of self-abuse and pornography. Pray that all may come to their senses and return to the source of life, which is Jesus Christ.

Remember that pornography is a false freedom, because it makes a slave of its consumer. Some people make fun of Arab countries for totally banning pornography and abortion. They say they are backward and medieval. But in this respect I would prefer to be “backward” and live in freedom than to be a slave to pornography. Slowly but surely the mire of eroticism destroys our humanity. It turns us into beasts driven by our urges and instincts. Depend on it, a habitual self-abuser is an irritable neurotic, who quarrels with everyone, sees everything in dark colors, is loath to leave the house since he has cut himself off from society, and sees no sense in life. He is an unfulfilled person, a troglodyte, and a narcissist lacking in humility.

I beg you, save sex for the person with whom you will spend the rest of your life in the sacrament of marriage. Unfortunately, I have not saved this treasure for my (God willing!) future wife. Now I feel damaged. Yes, chastity — virginity — is a treasure!

But I also wish to hearten those who struggle with the sin of self-abuse. You are not alone! Do not give up the struggle! Trust in Jesus without reservation, and He will free you. Perhaps you will still fall into sin many times, but do not lose heart! Put up a fight! Do not wait a week, or a month, or half a year. Begin the struggle today — this very minute! I know it is very hard, but I also know that through prayer and working on yourself, it can be done. Trust God!


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The above article was published with permission from "Love One Another!" - May 2016

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