Have you ever known exactly what you should do, and then later the same day found yourself doing just the opposite? This isn’t clinical schizophrenia, but in a spiritual sense, it is double mindedness.
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Spiritual double mindedness isn’t a new phenomenon, it goes back to Bible times. The Bible is filled with examples of Biblical studs being double-minded: Adam and Eve eating the apple; Abraham lying about Sarah being his sister and later sleeping with Hagar; David, taking Bathsheba, then killing off Uriah; Jonah traveling in the opposite direction of Nineveh; Peter denying Christ even after being warned by Christ himself!
How Does it Happen?
As believers, we are instructed by Paul (in Philippians) to have the mind of Christ. Our love, affection, and devotion are to be for our Lord first and foremost. Living for Him 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 own lust. The word lust is the strongest word we have for desire. James warns that this desire blinds us, enticing us to pursue the object of our lust. Our desire is to relieve or fill an emotional, psychological, and ultimately, a spiritual need. Our minds and hearts become divided in directions other than Christ, creating a schism or split within us. We think we are serving God, but we’re really serving ourselves.
Often, we find ourselves immersed in behaviors we know are wrong, addictions, eating disorders, bad habits, and a myriad of other dysfunctions. Some refer to this as cognitive dissonance, a disharmony within that feels like a splitting or tearing inside. We develop physical or emotional symptoms of agitation, anxiety, panic, and depression. We can become derailed in our thinking and motivation. As James reminds us, when sin is finished, it ultimately brings forth death and separation … from God, others, and ourselves.
Double mindedness is one of the devil’s favorite tools. Evil wants to distort your lenses. He knows perception is a most important component in decision making. You have to be diligent in all your decisions, slowing down your mind, taking every thought captive, and maintaining your focus on reality and the truth. If you do that, single-mindedness becomes rather simple.
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Try This Exercise
Today, ask yourself whether you are trying to serve two masters, God, and yourself. Thankfully, God has provided the remedy through his Son, Jesus. God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He saves, justifies, sanctifies, and empowers us to live for Him through His Spirit. But God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves, namely, making our own free will choices. Choosing to live Godly lives, and have Christ’s mind and purpose is your decision, so choose well.
Father God, I know I am double minded more than I admit, if not on the outside, then often on the inside. Help develop eyes that really see the truth, so I can test, realize, and reject the counterfeits to Your love and blessings in my life. Give me peace to endure the trials and resist my double minded impulses to take shortcuts and detours from the path You have designed for my ultimate fulfillment. Help me to live today for You. I ask this in the strong name of Jesus, in whose name I pray – AMEN!
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” I Peter 1:3
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Thank you for this!
Reading this, lifted my spirit in a way word’s can express. I am going through 1 of many times I think the Devil may have gained a foothold and for once I’ve looked to everyone, and everything but God!!!!! We are facing losing everything!! But if it he your will Lord , then take it, stuff can be replaced. Keep my family and ty for haven this word for me because I needed it. Bless it Love rd
This was very encouraging and it helped easy the thoughts in my mind …. Thank you for sharing this
I appreciate the encouragement but please change the title because double mindedness is nothing like schizophrenia and you’re contributing to all the misconceptions about the illness. You said yourself “It isn’t really clinical schizophrenia,” that’s just what you call it. That would be no different then if I was like “I call this issue spiritual retardedness! Though it’s not actually the clinical kind.” That’s offensive btw.
Not sure I agree this is offensive to call it spiritual schizophrenia. Here is the Oxford dictionary definition: schiz·o·phre·ni·a
Learn to pronounce
a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
(in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.
“Gibraltar’s schizophrenia continues to be fed by colonial pride”
In other words, this is very accurate in describing what happens when we are pulled in more than one direction and our perceptual lenses become distorted.
Well, this sure as day she’d light on to who I am inside and what I have been struggling with. On a daily basis the devil rides me with things he says to me over my addiction and other actions that I would say are rather unsavory in God’s eyes. One bad habit leads to many others and i they all become demons that on some days I wrestle with and on other days we just sit and cuddle.
Spiritual Schizophrenia, yes I relate here. T/Y for posting.
The body and the spirit are two different things though one directly affects the other. The law of the flesh cannot be subjected to the law of the spirit. Read Romans 8. I believe that the doctor was talking spiritually. So they can’t be compared
I’m literally living this my father was schizophrenic & Im serving myself I’m the other god it makes so much sense I never made that connection wow . I have this issue please pray for me now I can move differently Thankyou I will be obedient & wise
I was reading psalm 119:113..ESV..
“I hate the double minded”…
So googled the meaning, this site came up…REALLY spoke to me!
Thank you so much for this explanation
Thank you for this word; some have allowed the enemy of double mindedness to interfere with understanding and want their own intellect to cloud their minds. Nevertheless Lord, not our will, but your will be done. I surrender double mindedness/spiritual schizophrenia like thinking, which leads us away from your will Lord. I want only to serve you Lord and not self gratifications. Help us Holy Spirt, in Jesus name!
I’m so glad God led me to click on your link! I need help jn this area of my life. I can’t slow down my mind when it comes to responding to others, or in situations. I just act, or say whatever pops in my head. I often can’t make a decision when faced with opposing possibilities. I can’t focus most of the time, have to read, then reread because my mind wandered 😢 I need serious help with this. Thank you for this information, i will save this link and pray God helps me