Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 10 October 2013
Page 13

Double Minded

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxRarely, the phrase “double minded” is used in our everyday conversation. Webster defines double minded simply as: “undecided in mind; vacillating.” The word “vacillate” is defined in part as: “to sway to and fro; waver; stagger; to fluctuate; to waiver in mind.” Even though we hardly ever use this word, it surely is understandable. I have encountered many folks who are double minded, and you can’t count on them to make a firm decision. They sway back and forth, and you are unable to trust their judgments because of this disposition. They are frustrating people. They cannot be true leaders. To put trust in someone who is double minded would be foolish because he or she is unstable.

Have you ever said, “The fellow can’t be trusted? He speaks out of both sides of his mouth?” Alternatively, remember the old Indian phrase, “He speaks with a forked tongue?” Yes, we have met many people like that, and some politicians fall into this category. The party line changes and they vacillate, backing up and with a double tongue confuse, bamboozle and fluctuate.

Did the Apostle James Originate this Word?

We find this interesting wording “doubleminded” in James 1:8 and 4:8. Further, see a portion of a commentary on James 1:6 by James Burton Coffman:

Verse 8... a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways. Two things of very great importance are evidenced by this short verse. In the first place, as Dummelow suggested, “It refers to the teaching of Christ in Matthew 6:24”; thus being in perfect consonance with practically everything else in the book of James.

…“doubleminded” is a word evidently coined by the author of this epistle, because it is found in no other work prior to this. Significantly, Clement of Rome (95 A.D.) quoted from this passage in his First Letter to the Corinthians, thus: “Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart.” As Lenski said, this word caught on, and writers afterward frequently used it. “It is used often after the time of James as if it caught men’s fancy.”

Not only does the doubter forfeit all legitimate expectation that his prayers may be answered, but something else appears in this verse, namely, that that one who is a wavering Christian, or unfaithful in the area of his highest responsibility, will also prove to be unstable and undependable in all other areas likewise. Many a man’s forsaking the church has been the forerunner of his deserting his family, embezzling company funds or plunging into a life of licentiousness.

One’s As Good As Another

John Stacy

Mark Twain said he went to borrow an ax from his neighbor. His neighbor said, “No! I am using it now, and when I get through with it, I am going to use it to eat soup with.” “You don’t eat soup with an ax,” said Twain. “Well,” said the neighbor, “when you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another.”

That may be true with men, but it is not true with God! God will accept no excuse for a failure to do His will. Excuses make God angry (Exodus 4:14; Luke 14:21). Why not cast aside your excuses and obey God now? “Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in the day of provocation” (Hebrews 3:15).

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