“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
This is the second “mind” word in this verse. Not only must we gird up the loose ends of our mind that hang down, but we must also have a wholesome mental state.
“Sober” has a positive meaning–to possess a calm and collected spirit. Sober people are circumspect in their judgments. They are mentally calm, steady, steadfast, and stable. They possess a state of mind whereby they are self-controlled and able to see things without distortion. Fear or worry do not distort their thinking.
The New Testament uses this word figuratively–be vigilant against all spiritual dangers and enemies (1 Peter 5:8). Be temperate and modest in eating, drinking, apparel, recreation, business, and in the whole of your behavior.
When the word is used figuratively, the subject is a person. The idea is the believer holds the opposite of every kind of fuzzy thinking. We value sober judgment in both individual and public life.
Be sober-minded, also in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves. It does not in itself imply watchfulness but is used in association with it (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5). It means to be free from every form of mental and spiritual “drunkenness” or excess. Rather than being controlled by outside circumstances, we should direct our lives from within (cf. 4:7; 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8).
The New Testament uses the word “sober” in five instances (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). It means acknowledgment of the reality of revelation and discharge of the resultant ministry in worship, hope, love, and even conflict.
God wants us to be sound and balanced in judgment.
For centuries, society has used alcohol for a sedative. Only in the last decade have we begun to face the scope of its deadly impact on human behavior and culture. Rampant domestic violence and carnage on the highways are a prime example. At the same time, scientists are discovering new ways in which alcohol causes illness and shortens lives.
If we are going to manage our minds under God’s standards, we must gird up the loins of our minds. The most mature Christian needs this exhortation. God requires this of a “bishop” (1 Timothy 3:2) and aged men (Titus 2:2). God wants leaders to teach young women and men to be sober (Titus 2:2,4,6).
God does not want us to become intoxicated with the latest craze. It is easy to be taken with the latest fashions of this world.
A life free from worry is not a life devoid of the responsibilities of life. Instead, it is life under control. Do not cripple your life by anxiety, hate, and fear. If there is a film of dust on our telescope, we may miss great dimensions of the heavens. If we cover our spirits with the film of earthly preoccupation, we will lose sight of the glories of eternity.
The allurements of the world can intoxicate our minds. A calm, steady mind will weigh and estimate things accurately. We only have a certain quantity of attention to expend. If we fling it away on something other than God’s will, we will have little to offer God.