“That the aged men be sober…
The aged women likewise…
Sobriety is a difficult topic of discussion for me. I’ve never tasted an intoxicating beverage and my parents didn’t drink. Yet, I have heartfelt compassion for those who have succumbed to the tragic consequences of intoxication. While my limited knowledge hinders my ability to relate to the addictive attraction to drinking or the debilitating results of drunkenness, I hurt for those who struggle to overcome it. Fortunately, opinions, experience and preferences aren’t necessary in determining the standards for Holy living. So, as we continue our study of Titus 2, we can set aside preconceived notions and learn what it means to “be sober” from God’s point of view.
As we clearly see in Titus 2:2-3, God’s Word often runs counter to popular culture. It teaches that aged men are to be sober and aged women are to do likewise. However, that doesn’t gel with society’s behaviors today and can leave us wondering, “Which way is right?”
Let’s dig deeper to get the full perspective. The Greek definition for “sober” is defined this way:
Greek #3524 nephaleos from 3525; sober, i.e. (figuratively) circumspect:–sober.
Greek #3525 nepho of uncertain affinity: to abstain from wine (keep sober), i.e. (figuratively) be discreet:–be sober, watch
God instructs us to be circumspect, abstain from wine (keep sober) and be discreet. The Merriam-Webster 2022 Online Dictionary defines these words like this:
: careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences (Synonyms)
- : to choose not to do or have something: to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self- denial from an action or practice.
- a : not intoxicated
b : abstaining from drinking alcohol or taking intoxicating drugs: refraining from the use of addictive substances.
- : having or showing discernment or good judgment in conduct and especially in speech
Following God’s instruction to refrain from intoxicating substances may be difficult to swallow. But, in our quest to live Holy, we can’t let others convince us to participate when God says to abstain.
Living with Social Acceptance
Drinking is an accepted way of life today and may seem like a harmless pastime. Society promotes it. Social media “influencers” glamorize it. Retailers market it (with cute quotes and graphics on any household item you can think of) and many people buy into it.
Unfortunately, this is one side of the story. For almost every social media post promoting drinking, I find another post addressing someone’s struggles to give it up or get it under control. Those fighting alcoholism, or who have lost someone to its grasp, don’t need anyone telling them how the destructive downsides of drinking inflict pain.
Learning Spiritual Accountability
True comfort and courage aren’t found at the bottom of a bottle. Drinking isn’t required to de-stress after work, manage relationships, raise a family, calm our hearts or cope with conflicts. God is our source of strength.
As Christians, living soberly, as Holy examples to the next generation, is how we fulfill God’s higher purpose of accountability. This leaves us with two choices—will we sip away to fit in with our culture, or abstain and follow Christ’s path?
“Wherefore come out from among them
and be ye separate, saith the Lord…”
II Corinthians 6:17
Bring It Home
Do you struggle to live a sober life?
Feel free to email me, if I can pray for you or assist you in getting help.
Praying for you as we grow together,