When I think of sobriety, I think of 12-step and recovery programs first. Even the definition of “sobriety” (the state or quality of being sober; temperance or moderation, especially in the use of alcoholic beverages; seriousness, gravity, or solemnity) gives me similar thoughts. Then, while I was pondering this topic of sobriety, I came across a quote by Pythagoras: “Strength of mind rests in sobriety; for this keeps your reason unclouded by passion.”
What causes one to not be sober? Is it passion? Curiosity? A longing? Surely there isn’t only sobriety from drugs, alcohol and sex. I believe strongly it also includes sobriety from anything that keeps you from your purpose and promises – what you are committed to and designed for in life, whether you are aware of it or not. Maya Angelou is quoted as writing, “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Perhaps that is really what causes one to lose sobriety – the ache for home and not knowing how to get there.
As a Christian, sobriety is being secure in Christ. He is the safe place where we can go as we are not be questioned. This gives the Pythagoras quote a new spin – strength of mind rests in being secure in Christ; for this keeps your reason unclouded by passion. 1 Peter 2:11 states, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” (ESV) For being a Greek philosopher, Pythagoras was really on to something with that thought.
If sobriety is being secure in Christ, what does that look like? That got me to consider the synonyms of “sober”. Some of the words that came up were “abstinent”, “quiet”, “composed”, “reasonable”, and “sound”. It sounds a lot like being “solid” to me. Are we not called to build on a foundation of solid rock? It makes a lot of sense that sobriety and being secure in Christ looks a lot like a solid foundation – reasonable and sound. As your security in Christ grows, the strongholds of peer pressure loosen, as does the fear of rejection and desire for the acceptance for others.
How does one get to be secure in Christ?
1 – Pray. Use this time to examine yourself fully and prayerfully and draw closer to God. It’s a great place to begin being vulnerable and naked before God again.
2 – Obey God. Obeying begins by first understanding what there is to obey – get to know God’s Word! You have hope and a future.
3 – Accept that you are God’s beloved child. You are perfect, whole and complete in Christ.
4 – Learn your purpose, talents, and gifts – and use them. You are fearfully and wonderfully made with a unique purpose that only your life was ordained for.