Summary: This sermon will encourage Believers to become stable minded in a confused world.
HOW TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND
Growing Up Rather Than Giving Up - Part 3
I want us to look at what James has to say on "How to Make up Your Mind". Life is full of decisions and life is basically a series of choices we make every day. We have to evaluate, decide, draw conclusions. Frank Borham said, "We make our decisions and then our decisions make us." The quality of your life will be determined by the kind of decisions you make in life. Some of them we regret, some of them we feel good about.
A young businessman went to an executive one day and asked for his wisdom, "What is the secret of business success?" The man said, "Wise decisions." "How can I learn to make wise decisions?" "Experience." "How do you get experience?" "Dumb decisions!"
The fact is, because we are human we all have a great possibility for error. We wait too long, we pay too much, we say the wrong thing. Some of you are making difficult decisions this very week. Some of you don’t know it yet but you’ll have a major decision tomorrow. Life is full of choices.
James talks about how to make decisions. How do you make up your mind? He gives us the problem, then he gives us the prescription, then he gives us the promise from God and then he give us the position in which we are to place ourselves.
I. THE PROBLEM: INDECISION
v. 8 "A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways." In Greek, the word "double minded" literally means "two souled" -- pulled apart in different directions, divided loyalties, divided priorities. James makes up the word, but we’ve all felt that way -- when you’re trying to do two things at the same time. You’re not really sure what you want.
Sometimes you’ve got to make a decision. Double-mindedness is devastating, because it makes you unstable. The word is translated "confused" in many parts of the Bible. It’s used to describe a drunk who’s staggering, reeling, unstable in all his ways. He’s saying, If you can’t make up your mind it produces an unstable lifestyle. All your ways will be unstable. Constant turmoil.
Three ways indecision makes you unstable:
1. Unstable emotions.
It’s a stain when you can’t decide. You worry and strain, you’re confused. You can’t sleep and can’t eat. You wonder, "Did I do the right thing?" It creates emotional instability in your life when you can’t make up your mind. Guy goes to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist says, "Are you indecisive?" Guy says, "Yes and no." "What do you mean by that?" "I used to be but now I’m not sure." William James said, "The most miserable person in the world is the person who is habitually indecisive." It causes unstable emotions.
2. Unstable relationships.
Lack of commitment destroys marriages. When you can’t decide, Do I want in or do I want out? I can’t get on with it, I can’t get out of it, I can’t get with it? What am I going to do? Instability in relationships. When you’re unstable on the job and switching back and forth between careers. When you’re a parent and say one thing then you say another thing. We give double messages to our kids. It causes instability. You can’t decide in a relationship. Am I going to get out of it or am I going to get on with it? I’ve discovered many times it takes more energy deciding than it does to do it. Once you do it, it’s a snap, but the key is deciding.
3. Unstable spiritual life.
V. 7 "That man will not think that he’ll receive anything from the Lord." It blocks your prayers. Indecision causes God from giving you and keeps you from receiving what God has to offer. Some of you say, "Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?" Maybe you’re not specific enough. Maybe you’ve never really decided what it is you want and you don’t have a clear cut goal.
Double mindedness can lead to a double life. A spiritual schizophrenia Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. In Pilgrim’s Progress it talks about a man named Mr. Facing-Both-Ways. That’s when you want to do your will and God’s will at the same time. When you know what’s right but you do wrong anyway. When you’re trying to live for two people. On Sunday you come and sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and Monday you go AWOL. Double-mindedness produces a double life. In causes instability in all of your ways. It produces an unstable life style.
II. The Prescription: Ask God For Help
The problem is indecision. What’s the solution? James says, Get wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him." Then he gives three practical steps.