The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Is it a sin to masturbate, but the person you think of isn't real and doesn't exist? As much as I try to seek an answer I can't. Something tells me it's a form of lust, then something tells me it's not because the person doesn't exist at all.

Answer

How would this be different from those masturbating to pornography? I suppose one could argue that those people don't really exist since so much pornography is digitally "enhanced" and those involved are "actors."

The problem is more due to what is being imagined than who. If you are filling your thoughts with situations involving fornication, then you are lusting after things a Christian shouldn't be thinking about. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints" (Ephesians 5:3). Dwelling on sinful situations will break down your barriers against committing sinful acts.