James 1:5-11 (NIV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
I read the passage above and I think about stability. How God builds stableness in your life. That’s been an important lesson for a guy like me who came from a broken home, dealt with physical abuse as a kid, never felt like his dad loved him. And while I still to this day grapple with insecurity, God in his love and grace and mercy has built a modicum of stability into my life. Let me break down this passage a bit.
THE PROBLEM: Unstableness
v. 8 “A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways.” In Greek, the word “double-minded” literally means “two-souled” — pulled apart in different directions, divided loyalties, divided priorities. That’s the person James is talking about here.
Double-mindedness is devastating and debilitating. It makes you unstable. The word is translated “confused” in many parts of the Bible. It’s used to describe a drunk who’s staggering, reeling, unstable in all his ways. He’s saying, “doublemindedness produces an unstable lifestyle. All your ways will be unstable. Unstable emotions. Unstable relationships. Unstable spiritual life.
What’s the solution? James says, “Get wisdom”. “If any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.”
So here’s what you do – Humble yourself before the Lord and admit your need. The unvarnished truth is this – we all lack wisdom. Wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of view. Wisdom is making decisions the way God would make decisions. And when you do life God’s way, it produces stability in your life. We desperately need God’s wisdom. But to humble yourself and ask for God’s help means you’re going to have slay the pride in your life.
Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes then comes disgrace. But with humility comes wisdom.” Pride blocks wisdom. You can’t learn anything if you think you know it all. One of the reasons why we never ask for wisdom and never learn wisdom is we think we have it all together. Folks, none of us has it all together. The older I get the more that truth become real to me.
James is saying that the admission of the lack of wisdom in your life is the beginning of wisdom and stability in your life.. “I don’t have it all together. I don’t have all the answers.” It’s right there – in that admission that God begins to move in your life.
For some of you that may be hard for you to go home and say to your wife, “I was wrong.” Or to go to your kids and say – “I was wrong”. The admission of lack of wisdom is when God can begin to work in your life
So today, ask. Ask God for wisdom. Pray to God. Talk to Him. “If any man lack wisdom he should ask God.” Proverbs 2:6 says, “It is the Lord who gives wisdom, from Him comes knowledge and understanding.”
My prayer for my life today is this: Lord, I need your wisdom to know how to move forward. I need your wisdom to know how to mend relationships. Lord, I need your wisdom to know how to be a godly husband and father and pastor. Where in your life do you need God’s wisdom and stability?