A youth asked: “Is masturbation an unforgivable sin?” Masturbation is not mentioned at all in the Bible. The practice was common in the Greek-speaking world during Bible times, and several Greek words were used to describe the practice. But not one of these words is used in the Bible.
Since masturbation is not directly condemned in the Bible, does this mean it is harmless? Absolutely not! Though it is not classed with such gross sins as fornication, masturbation is surely an unclean habit.
Even those not especially concerned with God’s viewpoint feel uneasy about the practice. For instance, “The majority of adolescents who masturbated reported feeling guilty, ashamed, dirty, stupid, embarrassed, or abnormal.” Surely, masturbation is an unclean habit. But since “uncleanness,” according to the Bible, is a term that allows for a wide range of degree of seriousness, masturbation is not to be classed with such serious sins as fornication or other types of gross sexual immorality. Ephesians 4:19.
The Scriptures counsel: “Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness.” (Colossians 3:5) Is one who practices masturbation ‘deadening his body members as respects sexual appetite’? On the contrary, he is stimulating the sexual appetite. The Bible urges that one avoid the thinking and conduct that lead to such problems, replacing them with wholesome activity, and that one cultivate self-control. When earnest effort is put forth to do this, such self-abuse can be avoided, with benefits mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Masturbation also instills certain attitudes that are mentally corrupting. When masturbating, a person is immersed in his or her own bodily sensations, totally self-centered. Sex becomes separated from love and is relegated to a reflex that releases tension. But God intended that sexual desires be satisfied in sexual relations, an expression of love between a man and his wife. .