A friend called me recently to ask for help. She was frustrated that a person I referred who initially said yes was now being unresponsive and not following up on their commitment. Not only have they placed this entity in a bad situation because of a deadline, but they are also jeopardizing their reputation. It would be okay if this was an isolated incident but it has become a pattern of saying yes only to fall through on their commitment. In a world that pushes multi-tasking and winning the rat race, it’s easy to say yes only to end up disappointing yourself and others.
As a child, I was told your word is your bond. The Bible tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no (Matthew 5:37). Being overcommitted and not following through is being double-minded. The reference comes from James 1:5-8, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Double-minded is from the Greek word ‘dipsuchos’ which means a person with two minds or two souls. When we are double-minded, we are struggling between making things happen our way or staying resolute in our belief in God. Double-mindedness causes us to trust our decision-making instead of asking God for wisdom to discern what is best for our lives. Ultimately, it is believing that money, momentary fame, influence, or relationships are our source. It is failing to put God first and when God does not answer or show up in the way we want, we are frustrated with God. Our decision to move forward without God creates an onslaught of responsibility and emotions that come from being overwhelmed. What would happen if we commit to God’s will for our lives instead of our own?
It’s so easy to believe that we can do it all. On our own, it is impossible. With God, this changes the possibilities (Matthew 19:26). So much of our desire to be all things to everyone is rooted in ego and pride. Our egos do not want to submit because we want to be in control. James 4:7-9. 10 reminds us that submission to God is paramount to our success. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Pride will make you believe that you can do it all. The Bible warns us of what happens when we are prideful: “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 MSG) The crash can result in damage to our reputation, our credibility, and our word. No one is perfect. The goal is more of God in our lives and less of our will. Without pursuing consistent time with God, we place ourselves in the position of deceiving ourselves into the lie that we don’t need God and that we can do it ourselves. Double-mindedness keeps us restless, unstable, over-committed and can affect every area of our lives.
Matthew 6:33 (MSG) can help us with double-mindedness: “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the President of Soulstice Consultancy and the Founder of the Reconciliation and Restoration Foundation (r2fdn.org).