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Double Minded and Unstable

If you have ever struggled with making an important decision, then you have probably experienced what the bible refers to as double-mindedness (James 1:8). The bible categorizes the condition as a kind of evil that leads people to an unbalanced and unstable life.  In fact, if a person asks God for wisdom but is suffering from double-mindedness, that person should not expect to receive anything from God (James 1:7). The word is translated from a Greek word that essentially means having a divided allegiance or interest.  

Perhaps the decision you are trying to make is whether or not to accept a prime job offer. The job will pay you a bunch of money, give you plenty of time off, provide you with prestige, and give you the ability to take very good material care of your family. But there’s a catch. It requires you to go against a handful of fundamental values held by the family you’ve been given to protect and raise. On the one hand you see the value in all of the money and what it can do for the benefit of your family, and on the other, you see the necessity of foundational principles. You equivocate between the two. This causes you to explore torturous and convoluted decision trees. Every branch in every tree leads you to compromise, loss, difficulty, and stress. A single minded man wouldn’t have that problem. He’d either go straight for the money at the expense of the values he superficially holds, or he’d go for his family’s spiritual well-being and leave the money right next to a job not cut out for the integrity he single mindedly holds. Neither of these men are unstable. One is obviously morally flawed, but he is not unstable. For both of these men it’s a matter of allegiance. One is allied with money, and the other with moral integrity. The man who tries to ally himself with both will find himself torn between the two.

So if you are going to ask God for wisdom as taught by James, then do it with complete trust that God will give it to you. Expect it to come in unanticipated ways, and pursue it everywhere with single mindedness, always looking for God as the source, and not the fads of the world. When you do, you will find that God will lavish wisdom on you, and then generously use that wisdom to conform you more to the image of Christ.

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