To be sober-minded is to be free from the intoxicating influences that harm our everyday lives.
You’ll hear this phrase brought up from time to time. However, it can be hard to wrap your head around this idea and know when to bring it into your own life.
In general, having a sober mind means staying calm under pressure. A sober person is rational, level-headed, and knows when to pull themselves away from bad influences.
Today, we will explore:
- The scriptures that relate to being sober-minded
- What they mean
- How you can incorporate them into your everyday life.
Let’s get into it.
Romans 12:2 teaches us to not live like everyone else and instead submit ourselves to “the will of God.”
We shouldn’t chase pleasure or other outside influences and instead follow the rule of Jesus Christ and his teachings.
While there isn’t a direct reference to sober-mindedness here, we can interpret this scripture in this way.
Having a sober mind is all about having a sound mind and staying away from evil temptations. Instead, we should think about what God wants for us, rather than conforming to the rest of society
1 Peter 5:8
This scripture tells us directly to “be sober-minded; be watchful.” 1 Peter 5:8 shows us that we need to pay attention to what’s happening in our daily lives as well as the world.
The essence of sober-mindedness is to stay rational and level-headed. We need to be careful of what’s happening around us, and watch out for the devil who “prowls around like a roaring lion.”
Here, we can see the devil as the influence that’s holding us back from our true selves.
Philippians 4:8 teaches us to focus on the things that are honest rather than bad influences. This scripture is a list of important areas for believers.
These are things that are “true,” “honorable,” “lovely,” and “commendable”, just to name a few.
While Philippians 4:8 doesn’t tell us straightforwardly to be sober-minded, we can view the list as things that are related to having a sober mind.
We must “think about these things,” rather than focus on outside influences that seek to distract and corrupt us.
In these scriptures, we’re directly told not to engage in lifestyles of overindulgence.
This is about the people we surround ourselves with; “drunkards” and “gluttonous eaters of meat.” These lifestyles imply uncontrollable temptations.
We can take this as a warning. These lifestyles might seem fun on the surface, but in reality, they’re not as great as they seem; “for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty.”
These lifestyles are a direct reference to everything sober-mindedness isn’t.
When we embrace a sober mind, we are steering ourselves away from these influences, which will lead us to a prosperous and fulfilling life.
2 Timothy 1:7
We are told in this scripture that God has given us a spirit of “power and love and self-control.”
While we don’t see a reference to sober-mindedness, we can read these as aspects of sober-mindedness.
God has given us the ability to be in control of ourselves, so we’d better use it!
This scripture encourages us to use this ability to stay sober and use the tools we have been given to better our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
This scripture follows a direct confrontation of sexual corruption. We are told to “glorify God in your body,” and that our bodies are “a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.”
Although there isn’t a reference to sober-mindedness, we can interpret it as such. To be sober-minded is to exercise self-control, and so by treating ourselves right and not giving into sexual sin, we have a sober mind.
The Holy Spirit lives within us, so we must keep ourselves pure to fulfill our purpose.
In this scripture, we are directly told to be “filled with the Spirit,” rather than be “drunk with wine.” Paul warns us not to be controlled by alcohol, and even claims it is “debauchery.”
He implies that drunkenness makes your life worse; and that you won’t be focused on what matters most.
We must therefore be sober in both senses of the word. We are encouraged to be sober from alcohol and sober-minded. Living a life of self-control is much more fulfilling than a life of drunken antics.
These scriptures directly follow a list of sinful lifestyles. (Galatians 5:16-21) Immediately following this, we get a list of things we can expect once we let the Lord into our lives. The contrast between the list of sinful lifestyles and this one shows what we can expect from allowing the Spirit into us.
While the list of good things mentions things such as “love,” “joy,” and “faithfulness,” it also mentions “self-control; against such things, there is no law.” We can think of this self-control in the same way as having a sober mind.
We begin these scriptures with a declaration that God has brought “salvation for all people.” He has trained us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,” which is a clear reference to unwanted influences.
Furthermore, we’re encouraged “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.” This is the essence of sober-mindedness. We are told to live a life of discipline, rather than laziness.
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Finally, in this scripture, we see Paul directly refer to sober-mindedness. He tells us to not “sleep” and instead to “keep awake and be sober.”
The “sleep” here simply means showing indifference. Before this, he discusses an oncoming rapture, where Christ’s believers will be fetched from Earth. Therefore, what Paul is saying is that we need to stay alert for the Lord’s return.
In our daily lives, this might mean showing self-discipline and keeping an eye on the world around us, particularly when it comes to embracing sober-mindedness.
In conclusion, we see that the scriptures related to sober-mindedness encourage us to embrace a life of self-control and discipline. By avoiding intoxicating influences, we can focus on what truly matters and live a fulfilling life.
These scriptures remind us that God has given us the ability to exercise self-control, and we must use this to stay sober-minded to the best of our ability.