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What Is Sobriety? (2 Corinthians 5:13)

Introductory Thoughts

Most people unfortunately limit the meaning of sobriety to the absence of alcohol, but scripturally speaking, the meaning involves a much broader scope. Sobriety is the opposite of being beside oneself (2 Corinthians 5:13) or mad (Acts 26:25) and is akin to being alert (1 Thessalonians 5:6). The word sober is used in conjunction with the words grave (1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:2) and temperate (Titus 1:8; Titus 2:2) indicating that it is accomplished when one is in control, down to earth, and finds the proper balance in his thoughts and actions. One who is sober is humble (Romans 12:3), not drunken (1 Thessalonians 5:7-8), and well aware of the circumstances surrounding him at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 1 Peter 5:8).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): No matter what we are doing, God should be in our thoughts. Situations will come up in which we need to pay attention to doing the correct thing (2 Corinthians 10:5b; Exodus 23:13a). How could you be sober when playing with a selfish child; with a sibling who wants to keep playing when you are told it is bedtime?
  • (For everyone): Why is it important to understand that sobriety is broader than the mere absence of alcohol? Is it possible for someone who has never had any alcohol to have a problem with sobriety?
  • How would you define sobriety? Do you consider yourself to be a sober individual? In what areas of life do you find that the Devil attacks your sobriety?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you find sobriety in every aspect of life.
  • Ask God to teach you scriptural sobriety.