When on a quest for wisdom, a man must be willing to accept what is given from the Lord. Perhaps this goes back to the phrase in a previous week, “because you know that …” When we receive an answer from the Lord, it is inherent that we know it has come from God, that He has given wise counsel, and that it is the answer to the question we seek. The last section from last week explained to us, that if we doubt God’s counsel, we are no better than a wave being tossed by the sea. (This is also eluded to in Ephesians 4:14)
This week takes this idea one step further and explains that if we do have doubts about the wisdom that God provides, then we should not even think we will receive anything from the Lord. Perhaps more to the point would be that, when we doubt, we don’t even want counsel from God. If we will only be satisfied with wisdom that satisfies us, then why would God want to answer.
Julie has come to Keely and I before asking for help or wanting to understand a situation. When she asks, Keely and I try to give her the wisest answer possible. Most of the time we can see her attitude before we answer. Sometimes she will have an open heart and will take our advice willingly. Other times you can see that she is just asking the question for her own selfish pride. During those times, I often say something like, “Are you ready for an answer, because it’s a good one and we have good reason for doing the things we do.” Sometimes her attitude changes and other times, not much changes. My heart is that I would always be ready for an answer from the Lord and that I would trust Him to never lead me astray.
I always considered the last part of this verse as a some-what cold and condemning statement; “he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” Interesting that this term “double-minded” is only used in James ( here and in 4:8). I usually consider myself an optimist because I believe that God’s ultimate goal is reconciliation. Perhaps James isn’t condemning, per se, but more just calling it like it is, and even perhaps out of the hope that it will change. The word he uses is “dipsychos” which if you think about it is kind of self-explanatory. Di, meaning two and psychos meaning of the mind. The double minded man should be pitied I think because he can’t make up his mind and in turn is unstable.
My prayer for my own spiritual life is that I would only have one mind and that it is continually focused on God and his glory.
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”