What is Double Minded About?


Recently, an article published on this website concerned backsliding. This article will focus on a significant cause of backsliding, double-mindedness. This article will shed light on what is double minded about.

What is Double-Minded?

The expression double-minded, translated from the Greek word dipsuchos, means “a person with two minds or souls.” Interestingly, this word appears only in the book of James (James 1:8; 4:8). Some Bible scholars have concluded that James may have created this word. To fully understand the meaning of this word, it is best to observe how it is used within its context, which will be done shortly.

What Causes Double-mindedness?

The main culprit of double-mindedness is our environment. Double-mindedness is manifested from the deception and brainwashing of Satan. His goal is to distract and deceive us. He knows discernment is the most crucial component of every decision we make, and he does all he can to distract us from using our discernment by distracting us from what is correct.

When we do not make clear and distinct decisions and waver between two possibilities, we become victims of double-mindedness.

The Danger of Double-mindedness

As mentioned earlier, double-mindedness is only mentioned in the book of James. So let’s take a look at this passage to understand what he is saying, James 1:2-8

2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”

3 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

6 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

7 “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

What is Double Minded About? -
We must be undivided in our walk with God!

In this passage, James encourages his Christian readers as they go through trials and the benefits of responding correctly; they must have patience. Anyone who lacks the wisdom to respond correctly to conquer trials must ask God for it.

However, they must ask with faith and wholly believe that God will grant the request. Otherwise, the request will not be granted. Another Scripture that makes this point is Heb 11:6-7, which reads,

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

God is not pleased without faith, but He rewards and answers the prayers of those who seek him sincerely, believing that He is and not wavering.

Therefore, the first danger of double-mindedness is unanswered prayer.

The second danger of double-mindedness is instability, according to verse 8. The problem with instability is that it is crippling. When a person is unstable in their walking, it is not easy to move forward. Instead, they stagger back and forth, side to side, and even up and down with little to no movement forward.

What is Double Minded About? James 1:8
                                           We must be deliberate in choosing the correct path!

If we are walking down a path and we arrive at a fork in the road, if we remain at the fork, not making a clear decision of which path to follow, we will never arrive at a destination but be lost.

When we are double-minded in our Christian walk with Christ, we stagger and struggle between following Him and following the world. This condition prevents us from receiving from the Lord.

Another Scripture that addresses this is James 4:4

4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” NIV

Here, James gives another warning to the wavering Christian readers. “Adulterous” people; professing Christ, yet clinging to the world. This condition is spiritual adultery.

Jesus said it best in Matt 6:24,

What is Double Minded About? - No man cann serve two masters
                     We can only serve one!

24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Mammon is money, which in this context represents the world and material possessions. We can only serve one master, God, or the world, never both.

Avoid Being Double-minded

Christians are involved in a constant battle with the evil forces of Satan (Eph 6:12). This battle is spiritual warfare. Even though this battle is spiritual and unseen to the naked eye, it must be fought the same as in the natural. That means we must fight constantly and never stop fighting until the battle is over.

All Abut Spiritual Warfare
We must take spiritual warfare very seriously!

This fighting involves taking an inventory of our actions and priorities. What is most important to us, pleasing God, or pleasing ourselves? It also consists in controlling our environment. What are we allowing into our minds through our eyes, ears? How are we speaking? How much time are we spending reading & meditating on God’s Word? How are we taking care of our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit?

These are the things that will keep us focused and winning the battle. These actions will please God and yield His blessings upon us.

As stated by Paul in 1 Cor. 2:14, Christians have the mind of Christ. Our love, devotion, and affection are to be for our Lord above all. Living for God means we are Christ-centered in our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. James 1:14 warns us that we are tempted when we are “drawn away by our lust and enticed.” The word lust is the most compelling word we have for desire.

James further warns that this yearning blinds us, enticing us to pursue the object of our lust. We desire to relieve or fill an emotional, psychological, and in reality, ultimately, a spiritual need. However, our minds and hearts can become divided in directions other than Christ, creating a schism or split within us. We think we are serving God, but we are actually serving ourselves.

Above all we must adhere to the warning in the Scriptures, 1 Peter 5:8

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

With Satan nipping at our heels, we cannot allow ourselves to be double-minded.

Therefore, we must be attentive in our decisions, slowing down our minds, taking every thought “captive” (2 Cor. 10:5 NIV), and maintaining our focus on reality and the truth. Then single-mindedness will prevail.

Adhering to the above will keep us from the spiritual downward spiral and the state of double-mindedness.

Any questions, comments, concerns, or experiences with double-mindedness are welcomed below.


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12 thoughts on “What is Double Minded About?”

  1. I’m definitely coming back here! It’s rare to see a site dedicated to God and have a keen understanding of who He is and what His Word really says. May God bless you in Jesus’ name. I pray more people come across this site and absorb what you’ve shared here.

  2. I have been thinking about this. How firm are my convictions. Do circumstances changer or alter my core values. Or are they unmovable and established on the Word of God? I feel that we need to realize what is negotiable and what isn’t in our life. Thanks for your post. It has been food for thoughts.

    1. Hi Ann – Circumstances can alter our core values, but only if we allow them to. But through the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome the temptation to allow it. Scripture tell instructs us in Heb 12:1-2  …”let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (2) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”,… NIV

      We must stand on God’s Word and keep the faith!

  3. Oh, how I love your article!  And did you ever time this!  Wow!  As much as I pray to keep my focus, I know there is always the threat of getting sidetracked.  This world is overloaded with distractions and this is why the world will indeed perish, as clearly stated in the Bible.  As you said, a double-minded person is unstable as water.  As was the description Jacob gave his oldest son, Reuban.  Strong, but unstable.

    It’s so imperative to stay focused.  The five smart virgins knew this, also stated in the parable about them in the Bible.  The foolish virgins had the double-mind as they did put focus on what was truly important.  Because of this, they were left behind.  History in this manner has always repeated itself and it will do so again.

    I pray daily that Jesus never let go of my hand as this helps keep me focused.  I pray this for you as well.  May God bless you and keep you, Nathaniel.  You have no idea how much you lightened my day!  (Well, now you do.  lol)

    1. Hello Millie, I am happy to know that the article has blessed you. Satan is doing a bang up job of keeping the world distracted. But we must stay wise and pray continually for strength and direction. Remember Heb 12:1-2
      …”let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

      God Bless, and thanks for commenting!

  4. Hi and thanks for sharing this. I must confess to being a little confused by the subject. Is double-mindedness just one thing or does it manifest in different ways and in different degrees? At one extreme could borderline schizophrenia be a bit like double-mindedness, or is it only double-mindedness when the person is still in control and just giving in to uncertainty or even giving in to base desires? And could indulging in double-mindedness lead to some forms of compulsion or even addiction? Thanks, Andy

    1. Hi Andy – Your latter description is the best fit for double-mindedness. We are in control, but we compromise and engage in thought and actions that are out of the will of God while professing Christianity. And yes, in extreme cases, it can lead to compulsion and addiction. Every individual has a different temptation.


  5. Ok, I have started to meditate on God’s word. I have been doing this for five years and on different topics that come to me. I understand double minded, and I understand sin. My question is this. If we or I sin is that a form of doble minded person? Am I through sin serving two masters? Tying to rightly decern this topic. Or is sin at the point it happens just sin and not inclusive or part of a double minded person. It seems maybe I over thought this…
    First time here and thought this was a great way to talk about topics. Thank you…

    1. Greetings, Gary – Thanks for your insightful question. Even as a Christian, we can still sin. There is a difference between an incidental sin and living life as a sinful individual (Romans 6:15-18). When we accept Christ and are born again, we are to led by righteousness. Therefore, sin in in the life of A Christian should be an accident, and must be willing to confess (1 John 1:9), repent (Prov. 28:13), and move on in Christ. A person who professes to be Christian and yet led a life of sin is a double-minded individual.

      I pray that this answers your question. If you need more clarification, get in touch.

  6. We are not in control. The Lord our Savior is in control. We cannot control Gods will. The Will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The battle is already won. When you see the rainbow, remember the ark of the covenant, that Jesus Christ was crucified to save us from our sins. Live a life of faith and don’t be tempted by the mark of the beast. I like the information about backsliding. Thank you.

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