1 Peter – Chapter One XXXVII

by Ed Urzi

“Therefore, preparing your minds 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 ESV).

This reference to “being sober-minded” encompasses more than freedom from intoxication. It also includes the elements of discipline (or temperance) and discretion (or circumspection) as well. (1) This concept will reappear later in 1 Peter 4:7 where it will be rendered “watchful.” Taken together, these definitions should prompt us to be disciplined in our thinking and alert to anything that might make us fall.

So just as we might gather a long coat that presents a tripping hazard as we descend upon a staircase, this verse encourages us to pull in the loose ends of our thinking. (2) This is important, for if we are undisciplined in our thoughts and attitudes, it is only a matter of time before we engage in behaviors that are likely to trip us up.

God’s warning through the prophet Jeremiah illustrates this idea via the use of an instructive word-picture…

“Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— The fruit of their thoughts, Because they have not heeded My words Nor My law, but rejected it” (Jeremiah 6:19).

We can help ensure that the “fruit of our thoughts” produces a good harvest by prayerfully acting upon the following Scriptural guidance…

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

“…take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 GW).

Jesus also spoke about the importance of this idea in the context of His return…

“Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35 CEB).

Finally, we can implement this directive from 1 Peter 1:13 by asking some of the following questions as we face the daily decisions of life…

  • Is this thought or act appropriate from God’s perspective?”
  • “Am I making the best use of the talents, skills, and abilities that God has given me in this situation?”
  • “Am I handling these circumstances in a God-honoring manner?”

To borrow a phrase from our text in 1 Peter 1: 13, these questions provide us with a vertical perspective that can help us prepare our minds for action.

(1) G3525 nepho https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3525/kjv/tr/0-1/

(2) See John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), 1 Pe 1:13.