“Why do you wear that bracelet?” “What does it mean to you?” “Are you Sober?”
I know what you’re probably thinking after reading the title of this post, but it’s not what you think. This post is talking about sobriety, but I’m not referring to alcohol sobriety, per se.
I will say, my inspiration for this post, however, did stem from experiences I’ve had watching loved ones face & overcome addictions. This has become a large part of my testimony, and I always wear a purple “live sober” bracelet as a constant reminder of the hardships, strength & trust in God it took to get through that situation. I never take this bracelet off, and it is constantly there reminding me to remember what is important in life. It’s a great conversation started that often leads to me being able to share my testimony (boom, God works is many ways my friends!) with new people & cultivate fellowship. It reminds me to walk through life soberly.
I’ll also tell you that posting this was incredibly difficult. I’ve been working on this post for 3 months and constantly editing it, trying to get it right because this is an important topic to me. It’s still imperfect and redundant, but I found getting too wrapped up in the intricacies of this post pretty much contradicted the point I was trying to get across, so I decided it was time to stop stalling.
After listening to many sermons, attending revival at my university and diving into the word, I got to thinking. God put it on my heart to dig deeper into this topic and write a post to share about it & here goes:
Sobriety is typically associated with not being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but to me it’s so much more than that. Sobriety is living clearly, without worldly distractions clouding the sky. Living without getting tangled up in distractions and addictions of any kind.
As a college student in this society, I know first hand that life is full of things that distract us from truly living & from our focus on God. From social events to social media, from GPA to finances, from embracing the freedoms of singleness to chasing the possibility of relationships- we all get caught up in things that are so minute in the grand scheme of things. If all we do is focus all of our attention to any of these things, among many others, we aren’t really living. Our judgement becomes clouded and we often miss out on the little things that truly matter.
You see, we tend to get so caught up in how many followers we have on social media, how aesthetically appealing our instagram feeds look, how good our GPA is, how pretty we look, how much money we have, etc. that we obsess over them. We let these things consume our minds, even if we do not mean to. These are not necessarily bad things, but we shouldn’t put any of them in front of our relationship with God. I know I am guilty of this, and if you’re reading this, you probably are to, in some way or another. Maybe you struggle with obsessing over social status, maybe school comes before everything, maybe you are caught up in the clutches of drug and alcohol misuse.
I know, I know, what does “sobriety” have to do with this? Daily distractions are waaaaay different than drunkenness and drug use, aren’t they?
The quick answer is no- they’re not. Anything that we obsess over so much that it hurts or threatens our ability to socially interact, connect or direct our focus is an intoxicant. It distorts reality- just like social media, for example. People usually portray themselves differently on apps like Instagram, Facebook & twitter than in real life- or only show the best parts of their lives. Those sites are great, but they don’t paint the whole picture. We don’t know the full story unless we make real interactions and act intentionally and genuinely. Be vulnerable, be real. Don’t hide behind a screen, a GPA, a relationship, etc. Just like alcoholics don’t want to be identified or known solely as alcoholics, we should not allow ourselves to be defined by things of this world. Be in it and not of it, but don’t simply be in it. Live fully in it.
Wherever you stand, I have a challenge for you. Get your priorities in order. School, finances and relationships are important, but they mean nothing if you idolize them. They mean nothing if you’re not using them to glorify the creator. Don’t let them blind you. Don’t worship worldly things, and don’t let the world tell you that they are more important than God, or your well-being, or living. If you’re doing something or addicted to something, no matter what it is, that is harmful or stops you from living a meaningful and purposeful life, stop it. Sober up. Stop doing the things that hurt yourself and others.
To be fully aware and in tune with life, to truly live, we must remember what we were created for. We must remember WHO created us. Don’t let the distractions affect your focus on the Lord. Be sober in mind, body and spirit.
I’m not suggesting that you should throw all of these things out the window; I am just suggesting taking a step back.
Put things in perspective, and reprioritize God. If we put God first, everything else will fall into place. We just have to be genuine & yes- intentional. Don’t allow yourself to drown your focus in unimportant, material or media based things. They block your focus from God & also from your daily relationships. If we get distracted from God but daily, worldly things, how often do these things distract us from discipleship? From the great commission?
We need focus and clarity in order to truly live- and God is the source who clears the fog.
I know this is beginning to sound redundant, but bear with me, please. Let us all try not to be so intoxicated by the things of this world that we forget who created it, and why we are here. It’s difficult to go make disciples if we are too wrapped up in the superficial, temporary things of this world. Life here is important, but it’s short. Eternity is at stake, so don’t forget about your purpose & don’t count other people out either. As a church, we are in this together, and we need to reach out to as many as possible.
Thanks for reading this, but now is the time. Lock your phone, close your computer. Go out and disciple. Make fellowship, interact with people and build relationships. Spend some time with God, be purposeful.
Live Sober, my friends. And live fully.