Join us on Facebook

Join Us on ...

Monday, June 14, 2021

unstable

By Clifton Angel

    There are at least two words (and there may be others) that are unique to James in the Greek New Testament. The two I have in mind both can be found in James 1:8. "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." The Greek word translated "double-minded" is only found in this verse and in James 4:8 in the New Testament. The Greek word translated “unstable” is only found in this verse and in James 3:8 in the New Testament. Who wants to be unstable "in all his ways"? To avoid such, we must first understand what it is and its origin.
    First, we can see that the unstable man is double-minded. This literally means "two-minded" or "split-spirited." I get the image in my head of the extreme tension and stress placed on a rope in a game of tug-of-war. The double-minded is the person who prays to God, but doesn't really believe God will answer. He is the person who assembles with the church, but he doesn't make application of the sermons. He is a "Sunday saint" and a "weekday sinner." James 4:8 indicates it is a heart problem.
    Second, we can see that the unstable man is driven. He is "like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed." On a recent trip to the ocean, I was reminded of the unpredictability of the waves. Some waves seemed large yet would be calm once they reached the shore. Some others that seemed small could travel further inland and surprise the beach visitors. Furthermore, a twenty-four hour span could amount to a drastic change in the ocean’s waves, wind, current, tide, and characteristics. James’ use of the waves of the sea is a vivid illustration of the unstable man.
    Third, we can see that the unstable man is doubtful. Incidentally, this is where it all starts. This is what causes him to be like a wave that is driven with the wind and tossed. This is what causes him to be double-minded. This is what leads to him being unstable "in all his ways." It is a heart problem. It is a heart that lacks faith in God's nature as a giver of good things (James 1:5, 17). It is a heart that lacks faith in God's willingness to answer our prayers (James 1:5). It is a heart that lacks faith in God's faithfulness to bring us through trials, stronger than before (James 1:2–4).
    Who wants to be unstable "in all his ways"? In the words of authors Vep Ellis & W.F. Lakey, "Where is your heart, O pilgrim? What does your light reveal? Who hears your call for comfort, When naught but sorrows you feel? Do you know my Jesus? Do you know my Friend? Have you heard He loves you, and that He will abide 'til the end?”
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/


No comments:

Post a Comment