Overcoming Double-Mindedness in Decision Making

Overcoming Double-Mindedness in Decision Making

The term double-minded originates from the Greek word dipsuchos, meaning “a person with two minds or souls.” This word appears only in the book of James (Makes 1:8; 4:8). It means to have differing beliefs at different times about matters like God’s nature, our identity, how we view other people, or the decisions we’ve made or are making.

One of the keys for successful living is to learn to make decisions in faith. Romans 14:5 reveals we have the ability to do so: “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” The phrase, “let each of you be fully convinced in his own mind” is where we want to be concerning decisions we make.

Double-mindedness in decision making is an enemy of great influencers. Often, the most sincere people struggle with this the most. Whether it be a fear of missing the will of God, or the fear of missing out on the highest options in life, many live in doubt and uncertainty about their choices. The good news is knowing this tendency is something we can overcome.

I have struggled with double-mindedness many times in life. It is not fun (ha ha), but I have grown greatly in learning how to make decisions in faith, along with staying in faith after the decision has been made.

Here are five keys that have helped me do this:

1. Believe you are a good decision maker – The nature of faith is to believe something when it is not yet in our experience, and then we will see what we are believing. I used to only believe after I saw something manifest in my experience. 1 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that we have a “sound mind.” In Christ, you already are a great decision maker. Start speaking this declaration of truth out loud – “I am a great decision maker.” As you truly believe this truth, you will see it manifest in your life.

2. Develop an effective decision making process –

  • Clarify your options.
  • List the logical pros and cons for each option (including biblical reasons, what wise people in your life are saying, etc.).
  • Surrender your logic to God and open up to a bigger and better plan for your life.
  • Ask God for signs that you can add to your list under each option (unusual coincidences, prophetic words, etc.).
  • Look for the biggest “God story” in these options (knowing that bigger risks require bigger stories).
  • Decide to do the option with a clear God story.
  • Don’t announce this decision for a day or week to let God redirect if needed (the length of time you give God to redirect you depends on the importance of the decision).
  • Announce your decision.

3. Release faith over the decisions you make – God’s empowering grace is activated by faith. When we decide, He provides. A main part of moving forward in life is believing God will bless what we are doing as we do it wholeheartedly and unwaveringly.

4. Stay in faith – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Fight off double-mindedness by revisiting your “God story” about the decision you’re making. The quality of our lives depends on our identifying what God has said to us in promises, direction, etc. Even if we are experiencing the negative effects of previous poor decisions, we can walk through that season with hope for the future because we believe we have a word from God about what to do concerning it.

5. Imagine facing worse case scenarios to take the fear out of them – Wendy and I have found that when we choose to think about the worst possible outcome of a decision and we can still say, “Even if this happens, God’s grace will see me through,” we can start to build greater faith and hope for our future. The chances of this worst case scenario happening is very unlikely, but knowing God will be with us and our loved ones in powerful ways no matter what happens helps takes fear out of our lives. Strong decision-makers have this belief.

I bless those of you who are in the process of making an important decision to hear the voice of God for yourself, to overcome double-mindedness, and move forward in great faith!

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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.