Three summers ago I went to Hawaii with my two best friends. After several days of surfing, hiking and exploring we came to a place where people would frequently cliff dive into the ocean. Full of adventure, I figured I could handle the waves. After jumping in and swimming a bit I decided it was time to climb out.
— that’s when it happened.
On my way up the cliff a gigantic wave came and slammed me into the rock wall. It took away my breath and almost took away my life. Falling back into the ocean, my mind was reeling. I had actual thoughts of death. My world was spinning. Everything was chaotic.
And this is how James, the half brother of Jesus, describes a person that has divided loyalty.
“5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” — James 1:5-8 NLT
The passage above describes instability in ones life as a result of divided loyalty. In the New King James Version the same word is translated to mean double-minded.
If you embrace the mindset of Christ and the mindset of the world everything in your life will be chaotic.
So what does being double-minded look like? Believing one thing and living another. Believing in grace but not extending it. Believing that God answers prayers but doubting when you pray. Believing that love covers a multitude of sins yet refusing to love. Believing in forgiveness but living in condemnation.
Instability isn’t a season you walk through, it’s a character trait you possess.
- Two people walk into a challenging season with their close relationships. One securely fights for love and connection, the other builds a wall and blames.
- Two people walk into an unfair situation with their job. One embraces the injustice and chooses to honor, the other gossips and creates division.
- Two people walk into a tough time with their church. One prays and stays faithful, the other grows bitter and rejects God.
These are real scenarios that we’ve all seen and most of us have been through. And if you haven’t been through them you probably will in the next six months. How you handle them is your choice.
You don’t have to be a victim to your circumstance, you can choose to have the mind of Christ and grow from your trials.
Actually, many of your trials are created through being double-minded. Have you seen those people who always have drama in their life? More likely than not they’re double-minded. What about those people who always seem to handle even the hardest of season with poise and grace? I can promise you they have focused loyalty in Christ.
If you look back on your life and see a trail of broken relationships, new churches, and bad bosses then you might be unstable. You could be double-minded. You might have divided loyalty.
I know you love Jesus. But are you loyal to the world?
Stop convincing yourself that sleeping around is okay. That being drunk is acceptable. That gossip is harmless. That your anger is justified. This mindset is demonic and will position you for a lifetime of chaos.
So who is controlling your mind? Paul says this in Romans 8:6 NLT, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
You have a choice.
You can allow your sinful nature to control your mind which will result in death of relationships and blessings. Or you can allow the Spirit to control your mind and enjoy life and peace.
Don’t let this wave destroy your life. Embrace the mindset of Christ.