What does it mean to have a sound mind?
A sound mind in other translations is interpreted as having, “self control”, “self discipline”, and “sound judgment”.
When we say someone has a sound mind. We are saying they have self control, are disciplined, and can make sound judgments.
Paul writes this to Timothy concerning his tendency to give in to fear. He reminded him that fear wasn’t what God had given him; God had given him a sound mind.
A sound mind can also be defined as a mind that is at peace and rest. We can also say that a sound mind is a sober mind. or a sober minded person has a sound mind.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5: 8
Sober is defined as not being drunk, usually with alcohol or not being intoxicated with drugs. But we know that peter isn’t talking about being drunk with alcohol here but being intoxicated and being under the influence of things that take our focus off God and the things of God.
We can be intoxicated with the cares of this life. We can be intoxicated with the world; we can be intoxicated with things that aren’t necessarily bad.
The Amplified version says, be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined]… being sober is associated with being well balanced and having discipline.
Anything that takes away our ability to live a well balanced, clear minded and disciplined life is intoxicating us.
Why do we need a sound mind?
We need a sound mind to see the enemy coming.
The enemy knows he can’t destroy us when we are clear minded and have a sound mind. But if we are distracted and intoxicated with unimportant things we won’t be able to see him coming.
Peter warns us to be sober minded; be watchful because the devil is looking to see who is unaware to devour him. If we are going to see the enemy coming after us, if we are going to see the traps and snares ,we will need to be sober minded.
We need a sound mind to engage in prayer.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4: 7
It’s hard to pray when we are distracted. It’s hard to pray effectively when our minds are occupied with other things. That’s why Peter again tells us to have a sober mind. It’s hard to discern God’s will in a situation if we are intoxicated with other things.
We need a sound mind to stay on alert against temptations.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak .” Matthew 26:41
Jesus said this to the disciples when he found them asleep when they were supposed to be praying. He says watch, watching here has a sense of soberness. We can’t be watchful if we aren’t of a clear mind.
The disciples were intoxicated with sleep. This can be literal or figurative. We can be physically asleep and unaware. We can also be spiritually asleep and unwatchful. Both of these are tragic because we won’t be able to see temptation when it comes. If we are paying attention to other things and neglecting spiritual disciplines like prayer, studying the word, and hearing God’s voice we are spiritually asleep and in danger.
A sound mind is required for praying and standing against temptation. Therefore, the greatest purpose for keeping a clear head is so that we can pray when we need to.
We need a sound mind to do what God wants us to do.
Therefore preparing your mind for action, and being sober minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 peter 1:13
We can’t be prepared for action unless we are sober minded. We can’t be able to do what God wants us to do if we are distracted and intoxicated with other things. So by having a sound mind we keep our minds ready to do what needs to be done when it should be done.
How do we get a sound mind?
By renewing our mind.
We renew our mind with the word of God. If you struggle with fear, anxiety, worry, and depression, makes the word of God your medicine, meditate, pray and sing the word of God into a sound mind.
Do not conform to the patterns of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Romans 12:2
We exchange the patterns of this world by picking up God’s word and learning the patterns of His kingdom. We allow the word of God to transform and renew our way of thinking.
By knowing we have the mind of Christ.
But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
Everything that Christ has is ours and his mind is sober, sound and clear and this is our inheritance. We will not agree with the enemy’s lies when we know what is ours and what isn’t ours.
By knowing we have the authority and control of our thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:5 puts it so well, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
We have the authority to cast down imaginations and take captive any thought that isn’t in agreement with the word of God over our lives.
By knowing we can choose what we allow to into our minds.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I love the Amplified version it says…think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
I love this, we center our minds on what is good and we implant it in our hearts until that’s what flows out of our hearts into our minds.
We have been programmed to believe that we can’t choose what we think on. Especially negative thoughts, but according to this verse, we can choose what to think on. We can choose what to center our minds and focus on and we can choose wholesome thoughts instead of negative thoughts.
By learning to put our trust in God.
peace and a sound mind only come from God. And here is how we get it.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26: 3
NLT, you will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
NKJV, you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
AMP, you will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on you– in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in you [with hope and confident expectation].
May you be of a sound and sober mind in Christ Jesus!