Summary: This messages attempt to give a picture, the problems, and the prescription for the double-minded.


James 1:8

• One day a man was asked if he thought ignorance and apathy played a part in the condition of our culture today. He responded, “I don’t know and don’t care.”

• This past week I read this story; two men who lived in a small village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town judge. The first man went to the judge's home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the judge said, "You're absolutely right." The next night, the second man called on the judge and told his side of the story. The judge responded, "You're absolutely right." Afterward, the judge's wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That's impossible -- they can't both be absolutely right." The judge turned to his wife and said, "You're absolutely right!

• Our text simply says, “An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” The KJV calls him a “double-minded” man. The Greek language would order this thought a bit differently; “The man double-minded is unstable in ways (that are) his.” It seems to me that this verse contains a lesson which seemingly hits too close to home within the Americanize church because, after reading through dozen of messages and sifting through hundreds of resources, I found NOT ONE message focusing on the truth of this verse. Yet, in America today, the church who wears the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, is supposed to be His arm in this world, and is supposed to be able to overcome hell itself, is seen in large measure by this culture to be a relic from the past which has little power and influence. Why is that?

• Not caring to be overly simplistic, I began studying this verse and believe we can discover at least one of the reasons for this phenomenon. Let us dissect this verse, allowing the chips to fall where they may, and the conviction of God to fall where it will.

1. The Picture of the double-minded person. – The old saying is that ‘a picture’ is worth a thousand words so I’ve often wondered what a ‘word-picture’ is worth. Let me offer a couple of pictures in words to illustrate.

a. Confused – For me, this is a classic picture of the double-minded or indecisive person. The Greek word is a compound word which draws a picture of a person with 2 spirits. Having just spoken about trials, endurance, wisdom, faith, and prayer, quite likely, James was speaking to those who knelt before God in prayer while their minds were elsewhere.

• They were confused about their loyalty, their allegiance, and their God. Jesus taught us that no one can serve two masters. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say it is a ‘love-hate’ proposition. In His words, you can’t play both sides of the fence. This has been true all through God’s word. Elijah asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” The word hesitate is halt, waver, balance, falter, even ‘go limping’, this is not a pretty picture. Joshua proclaimed, “Choose you today!” One translation says, “You can’t have it both ways.” This is the double-minded person thinking they can make everybody happy and never take a stand. He is confused & the picture that is drawn in the Greek is like a;

b. Cork – In the last part of verse 6 we discover a picture of a cork which has broken loose from all lines. When fishing with a cork, the fishing line has control of where the cork goes. There are times when the cork gets loose from the line and is at the mercy of its external forces. Because the cork has not internal power system and no mooring to a line, it is tossed around. The double-minded person is a person who is driven by opinions and intimidation. And there is not better picture than the cork because the one who is double-minded is one who seems to be swayed by others more than anything else. In the spiritual sense, a person who is so easily controlled is one who has little self-purpose, direction, and confidence.

2. The Problems for the double-minded person.- This person has a unique set of problems which present other problems.

a. Controlled – Already we have noted that this person is ‘easily’ controlled. The double-minded person is an easy mark for the strong personality. This is the tell-tale sign of a double-minded person; they go along with the last, loudest voice they hear. Because they have so little connection to their Lord and his principles for life, this person cannot bring himself to stand for right, rather he’ll take the same opinion as the last person he’s spoken with. On Friday afternoon, a friend & I went to the Regions Professional Golf Tourney. On the shuttle back to the car, we saw a man in an empty parking lot flying a ‘remote controlled’ plane. Think about that concept for moment. The man standing on the ground controls the plane with a flip of his finger. Basically, this is the same principle for the double-minded, indecisive person. Anytime, a believer loses connection with the Lord—this leave them open to be controlled by whoever. This is either, the world or the prince of the darkness, known as the evil one.

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