Everybody seems to want to have a favorite verse from the Bible. It is a way of identifying, encapsulating who we think we are, who we would like to be in relation to God. It’s not mandatory, you don’t have to stick with the same one forever, but it comforts and describes to others a slice of who we are.
I realized this week, that I have a new one and I’ve had it under the radar for a long time, but it hit home this week, and that is the verse in Romans 1:3 ‘For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.’
I like the phrase ‘sober judgment’ a lot, and I always have. ‘Sober judgment’ pulls me down from up high and up from down low. It is somewhat entwined with ‘being sober.’ Being sober is a coming down. When you drink, you are up high and then down low. This verse pulls it together a bit.
When I am living in self-condemnation, this verse tells me the truth. It doesn’t let me get away with denying the good parts about me. I say denying, because I believe I have put myself down throughout my life to avoid being hurt by realizing it’s actually true, what I’m thinking about myself.
I’m not sure if this makes sense.
It’s a bit harder when I’m on the manic side. It feels really good and I feel really competent, but I forget the ways I’ve hurt others and I expect them to accept me and if they don’t, perhaps they should go Alanon.
That’s not how AA works. Not for people in Alanon or for people in AA. It seems as if it should be the case that the Alanon person should force the AA person into sobriety, and certainly alcoholics want the family to do their bidding once they get sober and they are ‘cured.’ BUT, the goal is to be able to live well and help others to live well.
For the person with the mood disorder, it’s more tricky, but I think for me, going into situations and remembering to think of myself with sober judgment to the best of my ability every day, I will get well, my relationships will be healthier and I will be more accepting and at peace with my place in the world.
Bottom line for me: HONESTY. Henry Cloud talks a lot in his ‘boundaries’ books about seeking hard after the truth and accepting it.
AA is the same, find someone, share honestly and see improvement in your life.
Knowing and doing it are difficult. I have made bad choices over and over, and it is hard to want to change.
The other part of Romans 12:3 is ‘in accordance to the faith God has given you.’ It plainly says God gives you the faith. That to me doesn’t sound like striving hard for something, it sounds like a gift God has given to us and that we are able to find who we are in ‘sober judgment’ or in another way: thinking in our wise minds, the part where reason and emotion intersect.