Masturbation and work

[This is an anonymous guest post from a friend of mine.  I thought it was too good not to share.]

So I’m sitting in class, taking notes like I always do, when a pause in the lecture gives me a chance to peruse the rest of this evening’s notes. Some paragraphs, some Scriptures, and one chart. My eyes casually skim the chart where I spot…masturbation?


In all honesty, I am shocked and disturbed and find myself thinking, “Well, I certainly don’t want to talk about that in a group setting!”

It turns out, I don’t have to, because someone else uses the topic as an example. And she admits. “I struggle with this one.” I shift uncomfortably in my seat. It’s a good thing I already know this wonderful gal so I’m able to tell myself, “You have no place to judge her.” (But, of course, I do anyway.)

She talks about how she exchanges the truth of God ­ that in His presence there is fullness of joy, that He is all she needs to be satisfied ­ for a lie ­ that these 15 seconds of pleasure are better than the presence of God, and that she has control of her body. I nod in agreement and think, “That’s powerful stuff.”

Then I move on. The class moves on. The night moves on and wraps up.

Soon I’m sitting in the drive­thru with my husband, who I haven’t seen all day. I’m half-­listening to what he’s saying, half­-focused on my phone. I try to log in once. Fail. I try again. The page loads slowly. And then, finally, my work email opens! I scroll through the new messages, finding nothing of importance, I slide the phone back in my purse, satisfied.

Another hour or so later, I’m alone in our bedroom because my husband’s out having a heart­to­heart with our roommate. I slide my legs under the covers, grab my laptop, and…login to my work email again. There are a few new messages ­ one of particular importance. If I don’t deal with it tonight, it’ll have to be dealt with in the morning.

I go to open that email when something stops me. I pause. I think. Twice in one evening, I felt an urge ­ and not just any urge, but an urge I couldn’t fight. I felt a desire ­ and not just any desire, but a desire that could only be assuaged one way. Then the thought comes to me, as if audible.

“Work is my masturbation.”

The more I think about it, the more the truth of it opens up. I’m addicted to it. I go to it to make me feel better about myself. I get some sort of twisted pleasure from doing it when I’m all alone. It only takes a good 10­30 seconds to reach the point of satisfaction, the point at which I have assessed my inbox and can tell myself, “You’re good here. You’re worth something.”

So I exchange the truth of God for a lie. I make excuses for giving my body over to workaholism and neuroticism and call it “caring about my job.” I disown God’s blessed gospel, which says Christ has already accomplished everything on my behalf, and I have nothing more to earn. I

silence that still small voice Who tells me, “One more login will not satisfy you. Only I can do that.”

It is now clear that I need as much help not logging into work as others need not looking at porn or masturbating. My struggle is just as deep and dark. Why? Because in turning to work to find my deepest satisfaction, I find nothing but emptiness, loneliness, bitterness, and an insatiable desire for more.

Wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, who has accomplished more than I could ever accomplish in a thousand lifetimes ­ the impossible! The reconciliation of sinners to a holy God! Hallelujah!

2 thoughts on “Masturbation and work

  1. Anything we use to replace Him is idolatry… thanks for the reminder of how broad this can be, how deceptive, how hard to identify sometimes!

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