“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
As I start to look at the need for mental well-being and having a stable mind, I realized that if my mind is not stable, then I’m not going to be effective in the ministry that God has placed me in.
“Instability” is described by James 1:6 as one who “is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”. An unstable mind is inconsistent, vacillating, to be and act one way today and be and act some other way tomorrow. It lacks solid convictions.
With that in mind, today we are going to look at four sources of an “unstable mind”
Often times those who have a mental illness are sometimes told and also think that their mental illness is their fault because they lack faith. This is not the case. Mental illness is a biological disorder and can affect anyone. It is not all sin, and it is not demons: and it is not all about counseling only. We need BOTH. Fallen mankind, our sinful nature, not our fault, not sin. We need to remove the stigma.
We need to stop using psychology labels, and stop labeling people with psych diagnoses.
Having false beliefs and values impacts our every move, word, activity, and everything else as we interact with others. They push our buttons and we lash out to protect ourselves.
It becomes normal/we are blind to it. We have defense and coping mechanisms.
We keep it in the dark, and we don’t even know we have them.
Double-minded and Double-hearted
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8)
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” (Isaiah 29:13)
A double mind is “having in the mind opposite or opposing views at different times.”
To be double-minded is the same as having a “double heart”
Mark 7:20-23 says, “He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Double-mindedness is a sickness of the heart, or inner man, and cannot be corrected with medicine or any medical procedure. It is indeed a disease of the heart that should be recognized and addressed.
A person with a double-mind lives by a double-standard, is two-faced, double-tongued, is deceitful, and treacherous. People who are double-minded are not sought out for service in any capacity because they aren’t faithful and cannot be trusted.
I realize that those are some strong words. But the truth is: You cannot put confidence in a double-minded man. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in a time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint”(Proverbs 25:19).
We are either of a double-mind or a single-mind. We are commanded to be and should strive for “singleness of heart” or mind.
“But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Looking back is double-minded.
As His body, God wants us to be of one mind, of like mind:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2)
The eyes (and other senses)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16)
“The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” (Luke 11:34)
“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)
“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.” (Proverbs 16:2)
“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.” (Psalm 101:3)
“Never satisfied are the eyes of man.” (Proverbs 27:20)
If it does not glorify God, then I don’t need it.
Eyes, ears, and the little foxes
“Catch for us the foxes, / the little foxes / that ruin the vineyards, / our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)
The foxes are “little”—it’s the little things, the things overlooked, that often spoil things of value.
We can find a lot of profanity in sports, as well as comedy. Both things are meant to make us feel good and “get away” from the stresses of the world. But sometimes the profanity that is in those things can lead to another “little fox” for us to be an overcomer of, and that is pornography.
Contrary to what we think “pornography” is, it’s more than just the hardcore sites. It’s also scenes in movies, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and anything else that has a form of nudity that can cause the mind to stumble and fall.
We can lie to ourselves by saying things like, “I’ll close my eyes during the nudity scene! Ahhhhhh, there’s only one “F” word. No biggie, everyone hears that” etc.
And the biggest “porn site” is between our ears, in our mind!
Cell Phones have become idols. How do we use our time spending countless hours playing video games, but not enough time to pray and read the Word?
We need to be wary of having a set of standards for our church life, but a completely different set of standards at home and on vacation. We need to be consistent in our walk with God day in, and day out!
We need healing
How about we increased our time in the Word and in prayer and fasting?
Maybe some seek individual or couples counseling?
Perhaps some should seek spiritual direction from their pastor.
And, how about what is becoming a banner at your own church?
What we need is honest and blunt feedback, vulnerability, and transparency. We need accountability, for iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)
When we bring things into the light, then healing can begin.
I want to close with a few of my personal thoughts and my personal experience related to Pastor Dane’s message on “The Illusion of Promotion” and how it relates to having mental well-being and a stable mind.
God has a call, a purpose, and a plan, for each one of us. But until I accept that “promotion” and become willing to do it His way, to be the vessel that He wants me to be, then I will be “like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
I didn’t “want” to accept the calling, the “promotion” because with “acceptance” comes responsibility, accountability, and commitment: giving up those “little foxes”.
But, oh, the peace! The peace that comes with accepting my promotion and stepping out in faith and moving forward with Jesus.
It’s his peace that will guard my heart and my mind.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
I pray that these thoughts are a blessing to you.