James 1:8b – “…a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” NASB
The proper interpretation or translation of that passage is, “one with two souls.” It is also, “the one who is wavering or inconsistent.” It refers to that person who has no settled principles guiding their life. That person who is controlled by passion and emotion. That one who is influenced by popular sentiment. This person is unstable in ALL their ways, not some of their ways. They are completely unreliable.
This is the person who acts as if they have two wills. Their affections are spiritual or carnal depending on the mood. This person is serious or sensual with no middle ground. They are heavenly minded or worldly-minded. They are constantly swayed by one or the other, but ungrounded and uncommitted to either. They are Unstable in ALL their ways.
This person is inconsistent and easily influenced. This person has a mind to serve God and be saved but at the same time a mind to satisfy the lusts of the flesh. This person wants to be eternally happy in the next world but will not give up their sensual pleasures. This person is godly in spurts and intervals but not consistently. The religion he/she follows has its ebbs and flows. It rises and falls, grows and decays repeatedly. They are Unstable in ALL their ways.
They are Unstable – Spiritually, Emotionally, Professionally, and Socially. This person is the picture of the one Jesus was referring to in Luke 6:13 when He spoke of the impossibility of serving two masters. It is impossible to love God with the whole heart, mind, body, and soul and the world equally. It is impossible to be submissive to two masters at the same time. There must be a choice and when there is inconsistency there is Instability. This person is Unstable in ALL their ways.
In I John 2:15 we were given the admonition, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” In 1 Corinthians 10:21 we read the powerful declaration of our LORD, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” It is impossible to achieve any depth in the things of God while clinging to the things of this world. This person is Unstable in ALL their ways.
Jesus makes a powerful observation in Matthew 6:22, “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” He had just informed them that where a person’s treasure was, their hearts would be there as well. He was calling for and we must achieve – Singleness of Devotion and Singleness of Purpose. Matthew 6:33 cries out, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” We must allow the Holy Spirit to deliver us from doublemindedness.
Let me offer some Characteristics of Doublemindedness:
- Easily Tempted.
- Easily Swayed.
- Easily Provoked.
- Not Faithful with any Regularity.
The Cure is found in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” This is a total surrender of the total self to God. This is seeking His Will and submitting to it fully. We must determine what or who is number one in our lives and why. We must come to a clear understanding of what is at stake.
God is more important than anything. My prayer is simple, “LORD, please deliver us from Doublemindedness.”
God bless you and go with you as you embark on today’s leg of life’s journey.