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Christians are commanded to be sober

What kind of person should a true Christian be? One thing the New Testament states is that a Christian should be sober. He should be a sober-minded person. For example in the book of Titus, Chapter 2, verse 2 we read "that the older men be sober ... " and in verse 6, "exhort the young men to be sober-minded."


What does it mean to be sober or sober-minded? Let us look at the dictionary definition.

Sober. adj. 1. quiet, serious, solemn, grave or sedate 2. characterized by reason, sanity or self-control; showing mental and emotional balance. (Webster's New World Dictionary)

Sober-minded. adj. having or showing a sober mind; self-controlled; sensible; reasonable. (World Book Dictionary)

Now let us present, from Roget's Thesaurus, words similar in meaning:

     Sober, solemn, grave, serious, earnest, thoughtful, sober-

     minded, sedate, staid, calm, composed, sensible, reasonable,

     rational, logical, well-balanced, levelheaded, coolheaded,

     temperate; plain, simple, natural, unadorned, unaffected,


Serious. adj. Grave and earnest in quality, feeling, or disposition; thoughtful; sober.

– Syn. Serious, earnest and sober are compared as they characterize persons. A serious person is not frivolous, but diligent in work, and always mindful of his responsibilities as parent, citizen, employee, etc. Earnest adds a note of zeal, sincerity, and perseverance to serious, and so is generally a stronger word. The sober person is calm and composed, and not easily excited.

(Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary)

 Sedate. adj. 1. Calm; quiet; composed 2. Serious; sober; dignified; grave.

 Staid. adj. Steady and sober; sedate; modest.

Sobriety carries with it the basic idea of being under the control of, or regulated by or ruled by, Mind, Intellect or Reason. It also means not being under the influence of an intoxicant --- a meaning that presumably comes from the effect that an intoxicant has on a person in robbing him of good sense, balance, judgment and reason.

Thus a Christian is supposed to be a certain kind of person: a person always under the control of, or regulated by, Mind, Intellect, Reason; serious, sensible, thoughtful, reasonable, well-balanced, etc.

Nov 2003

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