The Bible speaks many times in both the New and Old Testament to be sober-minded. A Baptist friend claims this is the reason we shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages. I find stories told by men my age mentioning stupid incidents of youth, it usually starts, “We were drinking one night.” This confirms the warning in the Bible is true. The overindulgence in the fruits of the wine will distort your thinking and provide a fabricated gumption to perform feats not readily tried sober-minded.
However, to argue that the phrase “sober-minded,” only relates to alcohol, views the Bible in a very narrow definition. Examining the thought behind sober-minded in the context of the Bible as a whole, means we should be deliberate in our deeds. This means thinking through ideas entering our minds and working out the best course of action given the circumstances.
In sixty-five years of life, I find there are many stimulants to stir the mind into a frenzy of unintended consequences. These include pride which comes before the fall, selfishness, greed, anger, and even love.
Anger seems to be the most prevalent throughout society. I heard someone postulate that you see a person's true feelings when they are angry. Then again, anyone married for more than five minutes knows that in anger we say things we don’t mean just to hurt the other person in the moment. Anger alters our mind and we do things that we would not normally do. Strangely, this doesn’t make the fuming person less angry and it sends the receiver into an equally angry state.
Love makes us accept norms that we may not under normal circumstances. Love acts like an intoxicant clouding our judgment, especially new love. We see the effects when hearing of an abusive spouse not pressing charges against their abuser or the parent enabling a child's drug addiction in fear of losing them. If it wasn’t for love, my wife may have killed me many years ago for being so annoying.
The Bible teaches us to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves. To love God and neighbor properly, we must be strong, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. This means living our lives sober-minded and being intentional with our very existence. This is no truer than when we are loving God with all our hearts or loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.
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