But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is… double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:6-8)
Complicated! Following Christ gets complicated when we try to live by the standards of this world. Work hard. Dream big. Solve life’s problems with good sense and hard work. Measure your worth by your outer success. But James points us to another reality. A different power source. A God who cares, who answers prayers, and who can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Ask…believe….and resist doubt, says James. Easier said than done. Sometimes, living in two worlds can get very complicated.
The word for “ask,” aiteo, can also mean “pray.” James knew a thing or two about prayer. His reputation earned him the nickname, “camel knees.” The oldest half-brother of Jesus, James was an eye witness to the resurrection. He became the leader of the believers in Jerusalem. The book of James is thought to be written shortly before he was martyred. Who better to teach us to stand firm in our faith? To believe and not doubt. To resist being “double-minded.”
Double-minded, or dipsychos, describes someone who has “two minds.” The very definition of complicated, according to Spiros Zhodiates, PhD., editor of the Key Word Study Bible (my “Big Fat Greek Bible and personal favorite).
Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on the complete passage from James in the Amplified version:
James 1: 6-8: It must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstableand unreliable anduncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]. The Amplified Bible
I’m challenged to believe and warned about doubt. Let the words sink deep. Repent. When it comes to our faith, maybe it’s time to stop being so complicated.