The Double-Minded Man

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. –James 1:5-8

I have been on a search lately striving for a stronger faith, but the problem is faith cannot be forced.  We cannot wake up one day and say, “today I have strong faith.”  It’s not so much a choice I’ve found but a gift from God that usually comes as the outcome of my experiences.  Of course there are those that say to be weary of basing your faith all on experiences, but if we can’t experience God then what is the Bible about?  It is an entire book of experiences.  We believers long for these experiences—these little tastes of heaven.  Just a brush of God’s fingers across my back can rejuvenate me and fill me up to be ready to face to the world.

The problem is when I go through these spiritual dry spells, lacking experiences, the doubting and “big questions” start to take me over.  My brain flips on it’s God given, instinctual philosophical thinking.  I begin to analyze everything and postmodernism begins to eat at my faith.   “One’s perception of truth is all subjective” they say…   Well, by definition there can only be one truth to our existence and every person by nature has to have a worldview on the way they perceive life.  I suppose postmodernism is just being honest with ourselves, admitting that we can never be absolutely sure that our worldview is correct.    Whatever our worldview is—whether theism or atheism, creationism or evolution, Buddhist or nihilist—we all place a certain amount of faith into our perception of truth.

I have felt quite unstable lately.  I have become “the double-minded man.”  Christianity teaches honesty but when I am honest with myself about my doubts I have trouble conforming all my beliefs to Western Christianity.  I have prayed to God to help me through it.  I have cried out to hear back from Him but I have not been getting anything in reply.  I wish I could turn off my mind and just enjoy the simple things of life but I have become obsessed with the unseen.  Socrates said “the unexamined life is not worth living” but I’m not so sure I agree with him.  I think I would side more with whoever first said, “Ignorance is bliss.” When I was a child I didn’t think so philosophically and I just enjoyed things for what they were.   Perhaps that ‘s what Jesus meant when he said “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”  By striving to find meaning in life do we completely miss it?

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6 thoughts on “The Double-Minded Man

  1. Cindy Powell

    God is never threatened by honest questions. He is who He says He is, regardless of what we do or do not understand or believe. I don’t think it is necessary (or even advisable!) to “conform to all the beliefs of Western Christianity”–just to the reality of who Jesus is. The other stuff works itself out in time. It’s true that faith is a gift (He gives each one a measure of faith) but it is also true that it is a choice (choose this day whom you will serve)–gotta love the mystery of the paradox. Welcome to the joy of worshiping an infinite God with a finite mind! I love you.

    Reply
  2. nopew

    I agree with Cindy above, especially about the useless journey to walk in “Western Christianity”. But I would add this. When we ask God questions how do we expect to get an answer? If I ask my best friend a question the answer comes from our experiences together, sometimes even with words. And if no answer comes, my friendship is not at risk. Jesus is real, not a Christianity, The Person Jesus is, means relationship. If I may use a mundane example: my wife has had to be away a lot recently (sick Mother, wedding next month of our youngest daughter, babysitting grandchildren four hours away for our second daughter). I do not love her less. Indeed, I long for her. We know Jesus has become a reality for us when in a spiritual dryness we long for a more conscious awareness of the divine presence. Or even deeper, when we meet that place we have a peace that passes understanding because we know God is with us, even if our emotions (or intellect) fail us. Grace and peace…

    Reply
    1. Justin Post author

      You’re absolutely right that it is about relationship, not conforming to any standard of religion. I have felt the divine presence of God before and it is because of this that I miss it and long for His presence when going through a dry spiritual phase. Thank you for commenting and God bless.

      Reply
  3. Charis Psallo

    I’ve come to see the “dry spells” as time to work on exercises the Teacher hands out. It’s a time to review what He has taught us and to go deeper as we work through frustrating questions. Sometimes it feels like the Teacher has left the room because he has stopped talking. He hasn’t. He’s quietly waiting for us to become better grounded by wrestling with the problems using the principles he has just shown us. It’s always rewarding in the end.

    Reply

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