Be Sober Minded: What Does it Mean in AA?

The 12 Step Program had its beginnings with Dr. Frank Buchanan, a Lutheran minister who experienced a spiritual transformation in 1908. He shared his experience with others, and eventually, groups of followers formed. These followers, known as the Oxford Group, formed at Oxford, Yale, Harvard, and other universities. Continue reading to learn how the Oxford Group’s influence continues in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) today including the concept of to be sober minded.

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The Christian Influence on AA

One of AA’s co-founders, Bill Wilson, credits the Oxford Group as influencing his journey to sobriety. After learning the Christian principles of the Oxford Group, Mr. Wilson wrote of a personal and dramatic experience with God. Although Mr. Wilson later distanced himself from the Oxford Group to reach more Catholics with Alcoholics Anonymous, the Bible and its Christian principles remain a foundational part of AA.

AA, Sobriety, and the Bible

You only need to read AA’s Big Book to see the importance of the Christian Bible to those seeking sobriety through their 12 Steps Program. Biblical references include:

  • “God” more than two hundred times
  • “Father” twice.
  • One quotation of the Golden Rule, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” is found in the Bible.
  • One quotation from the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”
  • The biblical quotation, “Faith without works is dead,” is quoted or referred to three times in the Big Book.

What It Means To Be Sober Minded

Sobriety is not the central theme of the Bible. Still, its frequent mention indicates that you should avoid drunkenness to live a joyful and productive life. No matter what one’s religion or source of spiritual authority, you can glean much from the Bible’s lessons on sobriety. We discover what the Bible means by “being sober-minded” from these New Testament verses found in the Christian Bible:

  • 1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Some people addicted to alcohol refer to an “inner demon” fighting to keep them from sobriety. Sobriety and vigilance are essential to winning this struggle and living soberly.
  • 1 Peter 1:13 – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. With mental toughness, you can find sobriety through persistent hope and grace.
  • Titus 2:12 – Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Without question, you will need to deny yourself certain pleasures to live a sober life in this world.
  • Ephesians 5:18 – And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. You can live a life filled with alcohol that leads to drunkenness, or filled with a sober and life-giving Spirit.
  • Titus 2:6 – Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. Today, many young people could be spared much trouble in life by heeding this Biblical admonition.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not alone in recognizing the immense value of Bible verses like these and others. Popular motivational speakers such as Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, and Jim Rohn quote the Bible often when encouraging listeners to live a prosperous, productive, and fulfilling life.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

Myrtle Beach Recovery can help you with several recovery options to recover a sober mind and live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Contact us today to learn more about how our dedicated recovery team can support you.