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Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Double Mindedness – How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith

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Knowing how to stop double mindedness and begin living boldly begins with really knowing what being double minded is! What makes a person double minded and what does the Bible say about it?

An image of two paths in the snow with a shadow cast on where they split and a text overlay that says How to Stop Double Mindedness and Start Living Boldly in Faith

How to Stop Double Mindedness – First, Define It

I was reading a verse in the Book of James about being double minded that really hit home with me late last week. It was this verse:

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 NASB

The phrase “double minded” comes from the Greek word “dipsychos” and it means uncertain, doubting. It also means divided in interest.

It means that you are wavering and divided between two interests.

Divided in interest.

It hit me pretty hard, I will be honest, and I had to face some truths about myself right here.

Have you ever posted something on Facebook and set the permissions so only certain people can see it?

On Social Media

Guilty! I have done that many a time, and sometimes it is for good reason.

Sometimes it’s just because it only pertains to certain people so I don’t want to bog down people’s newsfeeds with something that only interests a few, like maybe a family related post.

Or maybe it is super personal that I only want close friends and family to see. Those are all fairly good reasons.

But that wasn’t what bothered me.

What bothered me were the other posts I set permissions on.

I might post something related to my faith and set it for a certain audience because I didn’t want people to label me or judge me for my beliefs.

I didn’t want to be judged by people who might have a wrong perception of what faith in ChristDouble Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 1 is truly about or what I represent.

Then There Was the Opposite

The funny memes or off-color posts I might think are funny so I share them but hide them from my Christian friends because I don’t want them to think I am acting in a way that is ungodly.

They weren’t BAD or anything most people would find offensive. I DO live my walk as much as possible! I just thought people might be too harsh and judge me for it.  I didn’t trust people not to judge!

The makeup and fashion I love so much, I hid from my Christian friends because I feared being labeled as caring about “worldly things”.

But loving those things is NOT wrong! Making an idol out of them is wrong! Finding your worth in them is wrong.

But enjoying those things (and oh, I do) is not wrong! Enjoying them for fun is not wrong! And if anyone were to judge me for it, the issue is more with them than me!

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Fear of Being Judged

Basically, I was fearing the judgment of man. So I compromised. I was being double minded.

I was portraying one “me” to one group and the other “me” to the other group and NEITHER me was bad or wrong!!

That is the odd thing about it. I don’t post anything that is ungodly or fanatical!! I was worried about someone’s perception of me versus the reality of me.

So, I tried to be one person to one group and another person to the other and the truth was somewhere in the middle.

My interests were divided. I had one set for one and another for the other!

This is Who I Am

You see, if my friends dislike me because of my faithDouble Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 2 then I don’t need those friends. Period! It sounds harsh but it is true!

My faith is who I am. If you love me as my friend, then you love me BECAUSE of my faith because that is what shapes the person I am.

If my Christian friends dislike me for my weird humor or my love of fashion or my loud-mouthed NY attitude, that’s more their issue than mine.

God didn’t make us all alike and there’s a good reason for that! We balance out the church that way!

Romans 12:4-5 says:

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” NASB

We weren’t made the same! Our toes and our fingers have different functions and offer different benefits, but are all part of the same body.

An image of a group in worship and Romans 12:4-5 quoted in NASB

Stopping Double Mindedness Starts With Trust

It really all came down to a lack of trust.

I didn’t trust my Christian friends with the weird, crazy side of me and I didn’t trust my non-Christian friends with the part that is truly ALL of me; the Christian.

I was literally living like a split personality and in the end, no one knew the real me; the WHOLE me.

I wasn’t being fake. After all, each was truly a part of who I am. But I wasn’t being real either.

Stop Double Mindedness by Living Boldly

James 1:6-8 says that a double mindedDouble Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 3 man is:

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” NASB

How could I ever go to God and ask for anything if I live in doubt and divided in my interests? If I am blown and tossed by the winds of opinion or judgment of people, how can I ever expect God to trust me with what I am praying for?

So, I decided to live boldlyDouble Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 4! Boldly in my faith and boldly in my humor! I have decided to be the authentic ME!  Take me or leave me but at least it will be the REAL me you’re getting! And what God thinks of me and who He made me to be is far more important.

Living boldly and living authentically!

If I don’t feel comfortable enough to share a post with my Christian friends, then maybe I shouldn’t be posting it!! 

And if I don’t feel comfortable posting something for my non-Christian friends to see, then I need to re-examine my heart and whether I am trying to please God or man!

So how do you stop double mindedness? Live to please GodDouble Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 5, not man! Look at all you do through the lens of the Word Double Mindedness - How to Stop It and Start Living Boldly in Faith 6and not the lens of friends or family.
Look at the opinion of God, not the opinions of friends on Facebook. And if you are pleasing God, then that is all that matters!

If you’ve ever experienced this fear of judgment or fear of losing popularity, comment below and let me know how you stepped out boldly yourself!

NASB – “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation

 

14 Comments

  1. I left my faith many years ago, more like a cult. But I definitely agree with you about being the authentic YOU with whichever path one takes in life. We need to stop living in fear of what others have to say about who we are. Good for you and great article. Very inspiring.

    1. I am sorry you left your faith because of what sounds like a bad experience you had. Just know that our faith is not religion based. Religion is a bunch of man-made rules and doctrine to follow that is more about pleasing man than God. Our faith is a relationship…it is a one to one relationship with God. I would love to chat with you more if you’d like. I am so sorry that your experience caused you to leave your faith!

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with double mindedness. I wanted to share mine just in case someone else is feeling condemned and need encouragement.

    There are many reasons people split into dual personalities and that’s really what double mindedness is. Trust is always at the root of the issue but sometimes it is trust issues born out of severe, sustained trauma where people have learned to split their personality and mind as a survival mechanism.

    Double mindedness means having two minds and two souls. So the person has dual personalities warring against one another. They are not whole and are in conflict with who they really are.

    The Bible says that a person who is double minded when it comes to the promises and provision of God should not expect to receive anything from God. This passage cuts like a knife for people like me who find it very difficult to trust anyone because of severe past trauma. There are a lot of people who don’t understand how hard it is for some people to trust anyone, including God. I stumbled across this blog after reading several very condemning blog posts on double minded people. It seems as though the grace, love, mercy, and blood of Jesus can cover anything except doubt or fear, in most people’s mind. If you are struggling with double minded for any reason, pray. Pray to God, confess where you are and ask him to help you have more faith.

    I grew up in a very dysfunctional, violent, abusive home. I learned before kindergarten (no joke) that I had to take care of myself and that I was the only person I could truly count on. I couldn’t trust my family to love, help, protect, or care for me. When I went to them with a need I was either rebuffed harshly or a promise was made yet never fulfilled. In addition in my family I was demanded to take on adult roles and responsibility very young. So, I was groomed to believe that no one would help me. I was the help. By the time I reached 16 I was super independent and self sufficient. My teachers and friend’s parents loved me because I was so “mature” and “wise.” I just wanted to be a kid but no one would let me be that. I had been well-trained either overtly or by circumstance to do it myself, no matter what ‘it’ was. And I did. I handled ‘it’ far better than most adults most of the time.

    Once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior to forgive me of all my sins and seal me to him in eternal life, I experienced relief for the first time in my life. For the first time it wasn’t all up to me. There was someone else more powerful than I who could help. The problem was is Jesus doesn’t need a co-pilot. He was asking me to surrender and let him take the helm. I didn’t know how to do that. No one had ever done that for me before. Not ever. I was always responsible for carrying at least half of the load if not all. I didn’t understand and really couldn’t receive the love of Christ unconditionally.

    As is often the case childhood trauma that is pushed down doesn’t go away. It starts to ooze, bubble, and seep up into your life in ways and places you don’t expect or want like smack dab in the middle of my walk with Christ. When I brought a problem to Christ that I couldn’t handle and he didn’t take care of it in his time, I’d find a way to handle it on my own figuring that’s what he wanted me to do. The truth is I don’t feel comfortable trusting anyone. I’m ashamed to say that my emotions are still that damaged even now which is sad. God is working in me to heal me. It takes time.

    I never received any counseling and no one knew how I grew up. I was groomed to keep the family secrets and I did. So, I pushed down all of the past pain, hurt, fear, and anxiety and went on with life. My childhood baggage eventually pushed back and began to ooze, bubble, and flow into my life. All of my friends, coworkers, and boyfriends thought I was one person–smart, together, capable, brave, fun, honest, fair, good. They didn’t know about the other me that showed up when I dealt with my family–angry, sad, fearful, doubting, low self esteem, low self value, unlovable, unable to love, unable to feel, scared, scared, and more scared, depressed, and riddled with anxiety. Did I say scared?

    Praise him, God is healing all of me: body, mind, and soul. But it is a process. He is reconciling the two parts of me into the one child that he created out of love who was shattered and left wounded and unable to trust. He does not condemn me for failing to trust. He knows my story and how I became the way that I am. It doesn’t mean he excuses it but he is a God of mercy and grace. He gives us beauty for ashes and meets us right where we are–even if where we are is afraid, anxious, and double minded. So if you’re living a double life because you are afraid, ashamed, anxious, or just have trust issues for whatever reason: Pray. Ask God to help you. He will. He can heal your wounded parts and mend them back into one. God Bless you.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. I agree with you; fear tends to be at the heart of double mindedness. In fact, fear had been a big part of my life for a long time for various reasons but mainly because of some people in my life. In fact, I shared that story in a blog post I just published today called I Quit – How to Overcome Fear in Life!

      I greatly appreciate you sharing and love your faith! You need to start a blog!! You have so much encouragement to share! Bless you!!

    2. Wow Bea you told my story how amazing really amazing Word thank God for you and now I have better understanding with this battle my Faith is strengthen. I know can overcome this thanks Diana I feel encouraged

  3. Hey so im a boy if it doesn’t matter but im having alot of doubtsss like even about God and him exsist and i know God does exsist and I struggle with alot of things even my own sexuality and i know God says hes going to heal me is that something God can help me with also and how can i stop the double mindedness and just be straight up with myself cause this is actually a big problem how do i fully surrender to God

    1. Hi Quintez! God can definitely help you with some of the conflicting emotions you are experiencing. But sometimes we all need some help and direction, especially when we are experiencing confusion…which is what a lot of double mindedness stems from. I would recommend speaking with someone like a Christian counselor who can help you sort through what you’re feeling in a way that keeps God at the center. Sometimes our healing comes through people that God has equipped in certain areas (such as sometimes our healing has to come with a surgeon and oncologist for certain things like cancer). I think sitting down and talking about your feelings with someone who understands and who knows God is so vitally important. I am praying for you as well!

  4. Thank you. Fear of man gets to me a lot when sharing the Gospel. I struggle a lot with double mindedness but Jesus can get me through it

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