“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
1 Peter 1:13 KJV
Being raised in church all my life, there were and still are, times where I tend to reflect on the sayings and doings of church. Between the memories of praise breaks, the corporal punishment of tambourines and the ever present echoes of “God is Good” casually float through my mind. I’m relieved that I’ve come to appreciate it all. As I continue to grow as a person and as a Christian I’ve realized the thesis of Christian living…at least for me:
LIVE LIFE SOBER
This is beyond substance abuse in the traditional sense. This is knowing that in order to do my best in this journey (because it really is just that, a journey) I must do my best to live as distracted- free as possible. What do I mean? Embracing the fullness of life and everything that comes with it without distracting ourselves. Typically, self distractions are a defense mechanism from uncomfortable circumstances and being hedonistic beings, we use tons of things to help soften the blow of reality. Porn, substance abuse, playing the victim, manipulation, technology and food to name a few.
When living life outside of Christ, all these things and more appeal to us by promising immediate gratification and manages to keep us, saying that our participation equates to freedom. All the while, slowly constricting our ability to live life free from it. Living life as a Christian is a daily choice, to choose God above our desire to avoid feeling the pain of reality in every area of life. The dopamine release we get from the satisfaction of pleasure and hiding in comfort contaminates our perception of reality. Being sober is beyond AA meetings and avoiding the bottle. It’s choosing to surrender our preferences for his presence, especially when we don’t feel like it.
Living sober also means to live without flinching. What I mean here is to live as if you’ve never been hurt, damaged, mishandled, lied to and abandoned. This doesn’t mean to wander aimlessly throughout life with an erased memory of lessons learned but it’s the acknowledgement of living a healed, whole life due to Jesus filling in my gaps. Now, when trouble comes I’m no longer subject to a trigger response like I used to because I’m no longer defenseless. After Christ has entered our lives, we are no longer the same person. The memories are still there, the recognition is still there but the filters I’ve placed on my life as defense mechanisms are gone. Sobriety in Christ is also evident in abandoning our escape plans/routes, camouflaging abilities and mental disassociating from the things that hurt us. It’s knowing that you will hurt and be mishandled but knowing you won’t be destroyed. Stay Sober.