‘So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘

Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT

Many mistake the grace of God to be a free-for-all ticket to indulgence. They mistakenly believe that God’s ultimate goal is prosperity for those he loves. Truthfully, the idea of prosperity from an infinite being to a finite being is likely too hard to comprehend. As we have seen time and time again, humans have a very narrow scope of understanding what is best for them at any given time. This is why we often rely on emotional confirmation to be our compass. But emotions can be manipulated with such mundane things as food and sex, so these are largely unreliable.

Instead, the scripture calls us to a combination of revelation and the use of a sober mind toward discerning that revelation. Unlike many religions where humans are called to develop a callousness to their conscience and indulge their feelings by emptying their minds, Christians are called to turn their minds on and carefully think through the outcome of their behaviors. The simple metric to be used is not in what is easy, but in what is loving. Specifically, Christians are called to discern what is loving of God in their behaviors and thoughts. By acting with this information, the vastness of choices present at any given time becomes simplified to one. This is not only digestible but incredibly freeing when weighed against the vastness of managing every possibility.

This is why the call to sobriety should be viewed as a point of major contention within the Christian faith. We see a lack of sobriety being traded for emotional confirmation quite often. We see this in our writings, preaching and worship services. Too many have allowed a lack of sobriety to exist by emphasizing prohibitions or misdirection rather than guidance through prayerful discernment. We erroneously believe that if we are not drunk, than we are sober. It should be noted that a person does not have to be drunk to lose their sobriety. Distraction through elation, depression or willful ignorance can all be contributing factors to a lack of choices made in a state of sobriety. As Christians we must choose to choose. This choice is a major blessing of our relationship with God.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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