“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 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.” – James 1:5-8
We tend to think of wisdom in a certain sense, like having wisdom to make high profit investments, so we can gain prestige in the world. Or wisdom to lead, so we can advance in our job. And that is wisdom. And worth gaining, as good stewards. But we don’t get that sort of wisdom just by asking. We get that sort of wisdom through hard work and practice.
The wisdom James implores is available simply by asking without doubt. And it is wisdom to see truly. Wisdom to see a true perspective. It is a worldview that transcends circumstances.
Not doubting is, to a substantial degree, a material part of what gets us this kind of wisdom.
We can choose wisdom or double-mindedness. The choice is binary. It’s one or the other. We can believe God has our best interest at heart. Or trust we can do better. If we do the latter, we now live on the basis of something that is not true or real. We live as though we are equal with God. This leads to double mindedness because we have to keep toggling back and forth between our imaginary world and the real world. Pretending reality is not real does not prevent us from bumping into reality in our daily lives.
We can reason two paths to single mindedness. One is to trust God is who He says He is. He is a loving Father who has our best interest at heart. The other path to single mindedness would be to leave the real world behind all together. We call that madness or insanity. When we think about it this way, double-mindedness is actually an intermediate step to madness.
We are saved from this by trusting in God and asking for his wisdom.