Could Double-Mindedness Be Sneaking Up On You?
So, I have a confession to make. It all started when my husband mentioned that I'm often grumpy or in a bad mood. And I didn't think it was true, but as I reflected on the previous week--how frustrated I became when things didn't work out as planned in my business, that our quality time was often interrupted by me growling at my laptop in frustration, and how aggravated I became when I tried to visit family and couldn't find the baby's other shoe---ugg, why are they so small and hard to find!--I started to get the picture that maybe he was right.
I've always thought of myself as a pretty happy and easy-going person. But that's not who I've been for the past couple of months. And I'm really sad to say that, because being a stay-at-home mom and a business owner is literally the desire of my heart. And, here I am, right in the middle of it, and I'm not even taking the time to enjoy it.
By the grace of God I stumbled upon a devotional on joy. I thought it was going to be a sweet and helpful devotional about finding joy in the every day. What I got was a much-needed spiritual punch in the face.
It was James 1:3-8 that got me.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 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.
Do you know what patience means? It means cheerful, hopeful, endurance with constancy. It is an unchanging and unwavering state of mind.
As of late, my cheerfulness has pretty much been dependent on my circumstances. When I feel like things are going well, I'm in a great mood. When I feel overwhelmed or things aren't going the way I planned, all that goes straight out the window.
And friends, that is a textbook definition of double-mindedness. It's instability. It's being happy one second and then upset, stressed out, scared, frustrated--or whichever emotion plagues you-- the next.
Because you're allowing your emotions to be determined by your circumstances--instead having faith in God's word---they waver.
And, in case you missed, it let me repeat what God says about a double-minded person.
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.
Double-mindedness sneaks up on us because it doesn't look the way we think that it should look. When we think of double-mindedness, we tend to think of people directly disobeying some of the more obvious commands of God like being active in church but sexually promiscuous, or starting a Bible study but secretly getting high on the weekend.
So when it comes in the form of allowing everyday stress, aggravation, and frustrations to get the best of you so that you're no longer being cheerful, hopeful, joyful and patiently enduring the season you're in--which is in direct disobedience to what the word of God says--we often don't realize that's what we're becoming.
And at the root of all of those things is often a heart that's lacking gratitude and gratefulness.
**Sigh*** just when I thought I had my stuff together.
So, if you're dealing with frustration induced double-mindedness there's a pretty good chance you're focused on the wrong thing. I created a handy tool for you--and me too--to help us focus on the right things. Click here to get your Count It All Joy worksheet.
Join me next week as we talk about how double-mindedness really shoots us in the foot. And what to do about it.
Until next time...