Sober? Or Sober-Minded?
Most of us often think of being sober as being all about alcohol or drugs, right? But I'm here to tell you, that being sober goes far beyond that, and extends further than just alcohol or drugs. For those addicted to those substances, it's initially about stopping. Of course- that's what is getting in the way of life. After deciding to put those down, it becomes more about living, and living a different way. It's about seeing things differently, and handling them differently.
Isn't that the same as making any change in our lives? How about when we stop fighting the struggle with food, pornography, gambling, relationships (or the need for one), sex, work, and the list goes on. Being "sober", or as the Bible says, "sober-minded", is much more than stopping an unhealthy lifestyle. The term sober-minded literally means “free from intoxicating influences.” We speak of a person who is not drunk with alcohol or high on drugs as being “sober.” His or her mind is not under the control of a dangerous outside force.More broadly, being sober-minded means that we do not allow ourselves to be captive of type of influence that would lead us away from sound judgment, or anything that comes between us and God. If our life is revolving around these wordly things, then perhaps we are not "sober-minded". The sober-minded individual is not “intoxicated,” figuratively speaking. Even further, it includes being calm under pressure, self-controlled in all areas, and rational. So, many of us have work to do in some of these areas, don't we? Oh, my word, I know I do! Being sober-minded is a life-long process. It's not a cut-and-dry thing. At first, when we decide to make a change, it is. But that's just the beginning. It's about seeing things differently and handling things differently. It's about getting in touch with ourselves, who we really are, and what we are meant to do in life. It's truly about connection- be it God, other people, animals, nature. It's about being of service in all we do. Or maybe some or all of the above.
Perhaps we feel connected through those unhealthy behaviors, and maybe we are on some level, but it's so hard to see how disconnected we really are until we decide to make that change in our lives. We start to see it when we begin to live true to who we are, and to not listen to the voices of the world, or to our own distorted voice and view. When we become true to who (and Whose) we are, that voice becomes more clear, and becomes more "sober", and that is truly living a sober-minded lifestyle. Being "sober-minded" is a journey, a mindset and a lifestyle. It’s not a one-time event or a place of arrival. Or course we backslide in some areas. It's being human. But Christ took all that for us, and there's no shame or guilt in any of it. Being sober/sober-minded is bigger than choosing to be alcohol-free, or free from anything binding (food, pornography, relationships, gambling, work, and the list goes on). The plan is to feel the desire for change, becoming curious and open to the tools available out there, and then making a commitment and following through. It's about a lifestyle of freedom, mindfulness, and empowerment. That's what living "sober", or as I like to say, "sober-minded", truly is. Related verses: So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. -1 Thessalonians 5:6
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. -Romans 13:12-14.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2.
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves (sober judgment), measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. -Romans 12:3 Photo is from sunset at Hardings Beach in Chatham, MA. Please contact me for prints or for use of the photo. Feel free to share, and enjoy!!