Double-Minded

DOUBLE-MINDED (δίψυχος, G1500). Literally the word meant “double-souled.” The noun has not been found in the LXX or in secular writing. Neither is the verb found in the LXX or the NT, but it does occur in the writings of the Fathers. There it meant to be undecided or changeable, esp. referring to the indecision of accepting Christianity or belief in specific Christian doctrine or teaching. It is probable that the use of this term by the Fathers developed from the Book of James where dipsuchos is twice employed (James 1:8; 4:8). When James described a man as “doubleminded,” he used a figure of speech, as if it were possible for a man to have two minds inside himself. One mind believed, the other mind disbelieved. Such a man was a walking civil war in which faith and doubt waged a continual battle against each other. Set in context with an admonition to pray, it would be understood that the essence of prayer was the turning over of the entire mind to God. A man cannot pray and face in two directions while he is doing it. A man faced God when he prayed; thus prayer was the elimination of the “double-minded.” James’ second use of the term is likewise set in an admonition to draw near to God. The answer to the double mind with its wavering loyalties, indecision, divided interests and impurity was the rededication of the whole personality to Christ.