Beware of Double-Mindedness

James 1:8 – he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

How Wide are the Gaps?

Let me ask you a few questions that relate to this issue of being double-minded.

·     Are you the same person at home with your family as you are at church?
·     Are you the same person at church as you are work?
·     Are you the same person when you’re out with your friends that you are in your small group or Bible study?
·     Are you the same person with your family as you are sitting alone in front of the computer or television screen?
·     Are you the same person away on a business trip as you are at home?
·     How radically different is your thought-life from your public persona?

Those are some pretty tough questions. And while none of us moves from sphere to sphere – from group to group – with perfect consistency, we still need to ask the question: How wide are the gaps?

Whole, Entire, Undiminished

Part, maybe even most, of that consistency will come from how “integrated” our lives are regarding our relationship with God.  The words “integrated” and “integrity” come from the same root word. One of the dictionary’s definitions for integrity is,

the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.”

The double-minded man, however, is not known for his integrity, but his duplicity. Duplicity means,
deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive.”

Duplicitous men do not have integrity. They are not whole, entire, or undiminished. They have no unifying factor that keeps them whole.

The Unifying Factor

But the Christian, the man of God, does have such a unifying factor. The question is: Do he make use of it? Is he related or connected to it? This unifying factor isn’t an “it” at all. It’s God. We’re called to be God-centered men who live God-centered lives. Such a man will not speak, think, and act differently and deceptively with different people and in different settings.

Why? Because the man of God will be vitally connected to the same God in every sphere of his life. God doesn’t change. Because the godly man’s life will have God as his unifying center, he will not change, from place to place, from circumstance to circumstance. God-centeredness will make and keep him whole instead of fragmented and compartmentalized.

Loving and Glorifying God

Think for a minute about what the Great Commandment says. Jesus says in Mark 12:30, we are commanded to,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

That’s all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. In other words, with all that we are. Our whole being. Every aspect of our lives.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31,

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

You’re not glorifying God in the big or small details of your life if you’re double-minded.

God’s Expectation

A couple of Old Testament texts that really hit home are,

  • 1 Chronicles 29:17a – I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. (idea of being whole-hearted)
  • Proverbs 10:9 – The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
  • Proverbs 11:3 – The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

God expects us to walk with integrity before him and others.

How Are You Doing?

How are you doing in the various spheres of your life? I don’t know about you, but I want to be the same man in every sphere of my life: In private, at home with my family, work, church, or with my friends. I want to be the same man regardless of who I’m with or where I am. How about you?

Let’s pray God will form and shape us into the God-centered men of integrity he’s called us to be.

Walking Points

  • Take a look at the list below and ask yourself how you’re doing in each area. Are you living a consistently God-centered life in each? If not, why not?
  • What can you do today to become more consistent in the following areas? 
  • Work through this list with two or three Christian brothers and talk about what being God-centered in each category would look like and what it would it take to get there. Start working on it today!

·     Spiritual Integrity
·     Mental Integrity
·     Sexual Integrity
·     Behavioral Integrity
·     Verbal Integrity
·     Moral Integrity
·     Relational Integrity

Prayer

Holy and gracious Lord of heaven and earth, you are the Creator and King of all there is. There is no area in human existence about which you are unconcerned. Forgive me for not surrendering all of my life to you… for trying to keep back even a small portion for myself and my own agenda. Please remind me daily that you want my whole life to be lived with integrity, no matter where I am, what I am doing, or who I am with. Please empower me with your Spirit to live a consistent life that continually and faithfully points others to you – by my words, my thoughts, my values, my beliefs, my attitudes, my desires, and my actions. In Christ I pray. Amen.

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