There are times in our lives when we are faced with major decisions. There are possibilities in either direction we might select, and pitfalls. Both have unknown possibilities. We need a bit of wisdom to know what to do. Considering James’ first chapter is a good start. Verses 1-4 are an introduction from James to the twelve tribes followed by a request for patience during trials. Then this:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8 KJV)
Matthew Henry, in his commentary, gives us this:
We should not pray so much for the removal of an affliction as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who is there that does not want wisdom under any great trials or exercises to guide him in his judging of things, in the government of his own spirit and temper, and in the management of his affairs? To be wise in trying times is a special gift of God, and to him we must seek for it.From my own experience, we are much more apt to request the removal of any affliction than to accept it and use it to God’s glory. We’re often too busy looking for a way out and if there isn’t one, turning it over to God because it is too hard for us to “fix.”
Unfortunately, most of the time we are asking for a “fix” for the consequences of our own actions – personal and made without asking God’s help. It could have been much better if we had asked for wisdom in making decisions, then used His guidelines to implement that decision.
The Greek for “double minded” is δίψυχος, used only twice in the Bible, and only in James. In addition to “wavering” and “doubting”, it also means “divided in interest.” Christians usually are divided between this world and what God has promised us. John was aware of this:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:15-16 KJV)
So was Paul:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)
But I believe their words came from Jesus:
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14 KJV)
Use God-given wisdom to make decisions while living in this world, but keep those decisions focused on God’s eternal planning – which includes each and every one of us.