1 Peter 1.13
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
In addition to the passage above, here are two more verses in 1 Peter that admonish us to be sober-minded.
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” (I Peter 4.7)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.” (1 Peter 5.8)
Read those three verses again, and note how important having a clear mind is for the Christian life. 1 Peter 4.7 is especially strong in its admonition. It literally says, “Be clear-minded and sober-minded,” using two forms of the same Greek word: sophronesate and nepsate. The word simply means “not intoxicated,” and therefore free from impairment, illusion, or distortion.
Being sober implies alertness and evaluating things correctly, because when you see clearly your mind isn’t numb with intoxicating influences. While it is clearly understood that alcohol and drugs impair our thinking and judgment, there are other intoxicants that also have a distorting influence on our thinking:
- Ego and arrogance
- Lust and greed
- Jealousy and envy
- Unrestrained ambition
- Social influence and peer group pressure
When the mind comes under the disorienting influence of any of these things, it no longer sees or thinks clearly. This is precisely why the Lord reminds us throughout scripture, especially in 1 Peter, to be sober-minded.
Sadly, America today is overdosing on these disorienting intoxicants. We are drunk on ego, anger, fear, ignorance, and lust for power. We are in desperate need of leaders and citizens who refuse to submit to the influence of distorted thinking. We need leaders and citizens who have a clear mind. We need leaders and citizens who fear and trust God, and who see clearly, think effectively, and make wise decisions.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4.3-5)