An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
James 1:8 HCSB
We all probably had a yo-yo when we were little, or if we didn’t, we at least know how it works…we wind it up and spin it downwards or upwards. Unfortunately, this is how a lot of Christians are today. One minute they’re up, the next they’re down, and sometimes even stuck in between. James 1:8 says that an indecisive person is unstable in everything they do. Being stable starts in the mind. Your mind is a very powerful tool, so if you can’t keep your thoughts in check, you won’t be able to control anything in your life. This is why it is so important to control what you’re thinking about because your thoughts eventually become actions (see Proverbs 23:7 KJV).
Eventually, what this instability does is wear you out physically, emotionally, and mentally. It takes too much energy to figure out “how” or “who” to be when different situations come your way. It’s kind of like having multiple personalities. Unfortunately, I used to live this way and I can tell you it’s enough to drive you absolutely mad. You actually become a different person with a totally different demeanor. And here’s another tidbit…the more unstable you are, the less people will want to be around you. Instability and loneliness is not a good combination!
Yes, unfair situations may come your way, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be unstable along with them. Meditating on the Word of God prevents all long-lasting instability. I say long lasting because we will have our initial negative reaction because we’re human, but after it sinks in, you should snap back to reality. That is the time when you get before God and ask for His help. Did you see the sequence of events there…the situation comes, you have your reaction, and THEN you go to God. I didn’t add call your friends or your family in the equation. The absolute worst thing you can do is to call unstable friends and family and ask them what you should do. That is truly an instance of the blind leading the blind, which can only lead to disaster. Instead, be the person in Psalms 1:1-3 (TLB):
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.
Let that scripture marinate for a moment. It says that those who delight in the Lord and meditate on His Word are like trees along the riverbank. Their leaves shall never wither and everything they do will prosper. Now that’s true stability with blessings attached to it! We’ve all seen trees before and we know it takes something strong to be able to knock it down. If your roots are deep in God, it’s hard for anything to uproot you. When you are deep in God’s Word, it’s really hard for any situation to alter your mood because you know that He is faithful and He will see you through. When you know the ways of God, a difficult situation will bring you joy, like James 1:2-4 says, because you know that the opportunity brings a chance for you to grow spiritually. Being stable is an ongoing, learning process that only grows with experience.
We can’t talk about stability without discussing how our feelings and emotions play HUGE a part. We can “feel,” “talk,” “think,” and “act” our way right out of the will of God and into instability. We give our feelings and emotions way too much power in our lives. God gave us emotions, but He also gave us the power to control them, and not for them to control us. Your feelings and emotions are fleshly, and this is why the Bible says to crucify your flesh (see Galatians 5:24) and to habitually walk in the Spirit so you won’t give into your flesh (see Galatians 5:16). Here’s some examples of how we can be yo-yo Christians:
- One minute we obey God, then the next we disobey Him
- One minute we love God, then the next we act like He doesn’t exist
- One minute we’re happy, then the next we’re depressed
- One minute we’re at church, then the next we’re staying home
- One minute we’re sowing financial seed, then the next we’re hoarding our money
- One minute we’re helping others, then the next we’re self-absorbed
- One minute we’re the nicest person, then the next we act like the devil
- One minute we’re smiling, then the next our face is to the ground
- One minute we’re praising and worshipping God, then the next we’re cursing Him
No one in their right mind wants to live like this…up and down, up and down, all the time. Honestly, it just takes too much work. God is very clear that an unstable person shouldn’t expect to get anything from Him. So in essence, you block your own blessing by being unstable. He will not tolerate your loyalties divided between Him and someone or something else. It’s time to stand firm and make up your mind who you will follow…your emotions or God. The world is already unstable, so there’s no need for Christians who are supposed to be the light of the world, to be unstable right along with them.
Let God help you when you feel yourself sinking into doubt and unbelief. Start praying and asking for wisdom on a daily basis in this area. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Don’t think that God doesn’t want to be bothered with something as silly as controlling your moods. I believe when you go to Him, even for the little things, it shows that you are counting solely on Him to help get you through. That is a sign of spiritual maturity. God doesn’t want you to be unstable and indecisive. He wants you to be firm and rooted in Him, ready to handle whatever comes your way.