Avoid Being A Person Of Two Minds

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Have you ever been really pumped up on Sunday morning only to fall short by Tuesday afternoon?

Have you ever experienced a sudden burst of faith during a thought-provoking sermon only to fizzle out at the first sign of adversity?

A lack of consistency can cause your faith to dwindle and your hopes to sag.

Often people refer to this as being double minded.

James 1:8 in the King James Version says:

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

In his New Testament letter, the Apostle James uses the term double-minded twice.  One in James 1:4 and again in James 4:8.

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for double-minded is G1374 and it means:

“double-minded, wavering, uncertain, doubting, divided in interest”

Being double-minded is a problem that can damage Christians and can manifest itself in several areas of their lives.

James uses double-minded to describe someone who is divided in his interests or loyalties, wavering, uncertain, two-faced, half-hearted.

Even strong believers and Christian icons can lapse into doublemindedness. 

Consider the words of John the Baptist in Luke 3:16 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“John answered them all by saying, I baptize you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

John knew Jesus was the Messiah.

But later, when he landed in prison. . .just before he was to be beheaded … he sent men to Jesus.  Listen to what he asked of Jesus in Luke 7:19-20 which says:

“And John summoned to him a certain two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, saying, Are You He Who is to come, or shall we [continue to] look for another?”

Before we condemn John the Baptist for being double minded. . .John’s ministry turned many a sinner toward the coming Messiah.  When he spoke, strong men broke down and repented.  Miracles happened all around him every day.

In prison his perspective changed. He must have prayed for his release but nothing happened.  He was still there. 

When we pray and nothing happens, do we begin to wonder if God is still around?

We can learn a valuable lesson from John the Baptist. If every prayer we pray results in a miracle, what will happen to us if one does not? Or perhaps another does not?  Our persistence, our singe mindedness requires that we stay focused even if our every prayer is not answered immediately.

Now Joseph is an excellent example of someone who was single-minded.

As we recall, Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites and subsequently to the household of  Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

Potiphar chose Joseph to be an overseer of his house because he trusted him completely. Potiphar committed everything into Joseph's hands and God blessed Potiphar because of this.

Genesis 39:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“From the time that he made him supervisor in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the Lord’s blessing was on all that he had in the house and in the field.”

Potiphar’s wife was not a good woman.  When Potiphar was gone, she enticed Joseph to lay with her. Refusing her offer, Joseph responded with, "How could I do that to Potiphar when he has entrusted everything to me? And besides, how could I sin against God?"

To Joseph, this offense was more than just an indiscretion against his boss; it was a moral issue about his single-minded purpose to serve His God.

Potiphar's wife wouldn't take no for an answer, however, and day after day, kept persisting. And her evil paid off.  Although Joseph ran from him, she lied to the servants and her husband  and by evening Joseph was put into prison.

But he was not double minded.  The Lord adds a footnote to this story in Genesis 39:21. He says that even in prison, "...the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy and gave him favor...." It also goes on to say that all who saw Joseph knew God was with him.

Joseph, to me, is a perfect example of a person who is single-minded. Even though he was repeatedly tempted, he kept on choosing to give God his thoughts so that God's Life could still freely come forth from his heart. Because of his choice to stay single-minded, Joseph was easily conformed to God's image and everyone who saw him was aware that "God was with him."

In other words, he showed forth God's character. Unfortunately, there is another choice for a Christian, and this is where many of us live our entire Christian lives.

Joseph was not double minded.

James 1:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

When James 1:8 speaks about not being double minded it goes much deeper than simply changing your mind from day to day.

Our bodies and minds are amazing. They run on a series of impulses and reactions that we don’t consciously even think about.

Our body functions effortlessly. Our mind sends signals that start, stop and delay reactions, initiate chemicals and enzymes and generally make our bodies work.

Our minds also run on two levels: the sub conscious and conscious.

Our sub-conscious is what has formed over the course of years from early years to now. This along with our temperament and present circumstance lay a foundation of impulses that even though we aren’t aware are governing our day-to-day choices and decisions.

In being double minded we are being led by our sub conscious mind and that can rule our conscious mind and cause us much frustration. Paul even said, the things I want to do I don’t and the things I hate I do.

We can lay a strong foundation of thinking through the daily renewing our minds. Speak life back into our financial situation. Get rid of the old ways of thinking and the ways significant people in our lives may have done it. This is a new day a day of new and victorious beginnings. Wake up and smell the victory?

Proverbs 22:17-19 in the Amplified Bible gives us the outcome of renewing our minds:

Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;

18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them.

19 So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord, I have made known these things to you today, even to you.

One more time. . .lets look at James 1:8 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

 “A man of two minds.”

A man of two minds is unstable in all his ways. . .making him hesitating, dubious and irresolute.

In dictionary.com hesitating is defined as:

“to be reluctant or wait to act because of fear, indecision, or disinclination”

A question for each of us.  Are we hesitant to do the right thing or a new thing because of a fear of failure?  Do we realize that in our indecision we are actually making a decision?

Hesitating is not doing. . .dubious is doubting whether you should do something at all.

An irresolute double-minded person is one who is not only doubtful but vacillates back and forth between doing and not doing.

James 1:8 in the Amplified Bible goes on to say:

A man of two minds is “. . .unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels and decides].”

Sounds like a prescription for continued failure.

So let’s talk about how to avoid being a man of two minds.  Here are seven keys.

1.      Identify, personalize and confess the scriptures you want manifested in your life.

John 3:16 says:

“For God so loved <<your name>>, that he gave his only begotten Son, that <<your name>> believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

3 John 2 says:

“Beloved, I wish above all things that <<your name>> mayest prosper and be in health, even as <<his/her>> soul prospereth.”

Psalm 107:20 in the Amplified Bible says:

“He sends forth His word and heals <<Your Name>> and rescues <<him/her>> from the pit and destruction.”

If you’re quoting and confessing the Word of God in your specific situation then you will never be or pray double-minded.

Go to haroldherring.com and you’ll see a box offering free personalized scriptures.  There are over nine groupings of scriptures which you can personalize.

2.      Confessing the Word of God will keep you from being double-minded.

Your confession changes your direction.

Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.”

You can change where you are in life by what comes out of your mouth.

You choose your destiny by the words you speak.  Need proof? 

Proverbs 18:21 in the World English Bible translation says:

“Death and life are in the power of <<your name>>’s tongue: and if <<your name>> loves it, <<he/she/they>>loves it, <<he/she/they>> will eat its fruit.”

Once you confess your scriptures for twenty-one days you will begin to see a profound difference in your thought process and the quality of your life.  More importantly, you will find that you’ll never be double-minded again.

3.      Immediately eliminating negative thoughts will keep you from being double-minded.

When confronted with a challenge, problem or opportunity. . .what’s your first thought?

If you’re first thought when given an assignment or an opportunity is negative. . .it will become a way of thinking and living.

That same thing happens if we let everything that happens to us unexpectedly become a source of worry as opposed to a source of seeing God works things out supernaturally.   We may be caught off guard but we show we don’t trust God if we think He is.

If someone says that something is impossible when the Word of God says it’s possible that’s being double-minded.

Matthew 17:20 in God’s WORD Translation says:

“He told them, “Because you have so little faith. I can guarantee this truth: If your faith is the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

If the Word of God says nothing is impossible to you. . .and you say something isn’t possible then you’re being double-minded. . .and even more dangerous. . .you’re exalting what you think above the Word of God.  That makes you double-minded.

We eliminate negative thoughts by:

First, realizing they aren’t from God.

Second, knowing they’re unscriptural and sinful. . .thus not allowing them to exalt themselves above the knowledge of Him.

Third, replace negative thoughts of impossibilities with positive thoughts about possibilities.

Finally and most importantly. . .let the Word of God be the sole answer to every problem you face.

4.      Bombarding your sub-conscious mind with the pure, powerful and positive thoughts from the Word of God.

The sub-conscious mind is like a computer. . .it retains everything. . .which is why, you need to defrag your mental hard-drive on occasion.

The best and the most lasting way, to rid yourself of negative, double-minded thinking is by reprogramming your mind.

No surprise. . .the best way. . .to reprogram your mind I by seven powerful words.


As you read the Bible. . .you will find that your perceptions change. . .which means your reality will change as well.

Purpose in your heart right now that you will not allow negative, double-minded thoughts in your thought processes.

If the enemy tries to sneak one in. . .flush it immediately.  That’s right; send it down the drain into the sewage dump where it belongs.

What you think determines how you act.

The Contemporary English Version of Philippians 2:5 says:

“And think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”

Get rid of negative, double-minded thoughts.

5.      Public purity doesn’t remove private guilt.

If you think about or look at people in ways that you shouldn’t. . .even though no one else in your circle of friends will ever know you’re looking. . .you’ve just created double-mildness in your life.

Such personal ambiguity will hinder your spiritual growth and development as well as you future success.

Make no mistake. . .you may hide things from your spouse, your parents, your children, your pastor, your best friend and others. . .but you cannot nor will you ever be able to hide things from God.

If you’re thinking about things you shouldn’t in private moments while acting pious to everyone else. . .then you’re double-minded.

Hidden sin brings forth the worst kind of guilt that anyone could ever face.  It’s also known as being two-faced because there two minds at work.

Proverbs 28:13 in the New International Version says:

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Let me tell you one other problem with being double-minded. . .it means you’re using your mind instead of His.

6.      Be A willing epistle

There is an old saying. . .you can talk the talk but you must also walk the walk.

It’s one thing to say the right things. . .it’s something else to do what is right.

If we’re single-minded. . .walking in purity. . .then we will be single-minded. . .focused on Him.  In fact, we will be what the scripture calls. . .a living epistle.

2 Corinthians 3:1:3 in the American Standard Version says:

“Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men;  being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables (that are) hearts of flesh.”

A living epistle is someone who can be read, heard, understood. . .who also has the ability to convince and convict.  A living epistle by definition can never be double minded.

The best way to never be double-minded is to live your life in such a way that it can be continually known and read by men.

What you see is what you get.

There are no hidden agendas. . .no strange thought life. . .just purity and a life lived in obedience to the Word.

7.      Know where you stand and Whom you’re standing with.

In every adversity. . .every opportunity. . .in everyday life. . .He’s right there with you. . . He can help.

You know the human mind is a funny albeit amazing thing. . .as I was writing this seventh point. . .the song “I Can Help” by Billy Swan. . .came to my mind.

“If you've got a problem, I don't care what it is

If you need a hand, I can assure you this

I can help. . .”

Understand it’s definitely not a Christian song. . .but every moment of the day. . .you and I need to realize that if we’re standing with our Heavenly Father. . .obeying His instructions. . .He can and will help.

If you stand on the Word and in His Presence. . .you will eliminate all double-mindedness.

However, if you spend your time with people who are spiritually immature and carnal then you will have an entirely different thought process.

Psalm 119:113 in the Amplified Bible says:

“I hate the thoughts of undecided [in religion], double-minded people, but your law do I love.”

I’m going to say it again. . .when you stand on His Word. . .not only will it keep you from being double-minded but it will make you a winner in life.

Joshua 1:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.”

Now that’s what I call great news. . .no two ways about it. Do you get that? Ha ha!

Let’s look at one final translation of James 1:8.  The time in the New Living Translation where it says:

“Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

There is hope for those who are trying to walk with one foot in the world and another in the Word.

James 4:8 in the New International Version says:

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

How do we wash our hearts?  With the Word of God.

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