For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:7,8)
The word, dichotomy (pronounced di-cot'-uh-me), means division into two parts; a cutting in two. Many of us feel we are, out of necessity, walking dichotomies. We are reverent on Sundays, but gutter fighters the rest of the week.
We don't like our dual personalities, but we have to stand nose to nose and toe to toe with the world to survive. We want to be Godly, but it's difficult to maintain a Godly attitude when we are blind-sided by someone. We retaliate, then take on a guilt feeling. We feel hypocritical, and maybe we withdraw from our fellow Christians for a season. We are cut in two.
Temporarily, we forget that our Lord has chosen us (John 15:16). We feel unworthy, and that is frustrating because we want so much to be usable by God. We forget that God didn't choose us for our value, or talent, or strength, or because we are consistent. He chose us because we responded to His call.
We have to remind ourselves that Sunday behavior doesn't make us usable by God. Neither does our talent. If we decide God wants us for our talent, we usually anticipate how or where or when He intends to use it. Our own special interest then gets in God's way, and He is unable to do anything through us.
It isn't necessary for us to have a dual personality to be effective in the world, yet acceptable as a Christian. We get hung up on whether or not our behavior is acceptable because our eyes are upon ourselves and others, rather than upon God.
We want to be useful to God, but God can't use us when we think we have something worthwhile to offer. If we believe we have some distinct value for God to use, we head in that direction, not realizing we have taken the reins out of God's hands. We have difficulty understanding that God is not glorified by the work we do, but rather by the relationship we maintain with Him and the fruit produced by that relationship.
We escape this feeling of being torn in two directions when we discontinue seeing ourselves as individuals. We are not the only persons in the game of life; God doesn't deal with us because we are something special. We are related to a larger purpose that God is working out; we are just part of it.
Most of us are not special enough to be an Abraham or a Moses, we are simply portions of a collective vessel. God chose us individually, but He works in us as He simultaneously works in others, to bring about a purpose beyond ourselves.
For example, we may be going through what God is doing with a collective vessel and we may not see any meaning for what we are experiencing. But we are part of a larger whole. When we compare notes with other members of the Body, we find that they are having the same experiences. That is how God works.
We can't follow it all, but God is doing something in a related way, and we are part of that something.
When we grasp that concept, it helps us narrow our focus and our ability to listen and wait for God's directions. We don't concern ourselves about such a thing as a dual personality.
It also helps us understand the heavenly conception of Church: it is one unit comprised of believers, not a mixed denominational bag, and we are part of its collective members.
God has kept His Church alive for 2,000 years, even though man repeatedly imposed his own selfish will against it. Man has done terrible things in God's name, yet God has kept His Church alive. If man stops insisting upon being an individual, and accepts his role as part of a larger vessel, God can accomplish His purpose more quickly and easily.
Instead of trying to be something for God, we allow God to take us right off the earth, spiritually speaking. He takes us where we can't put our foot down solidly and feel sure about anything. He upsets our power of reckoning and interpretation, and makes it necessary for us to have another kind of wisdom and understanding, something that does not belong to this earth or to man, something heavenly.
We forget about gutter fighting, and about impressing others on Sunday. This requires standing naked before God, laying everything that is ours at His feet. We may have to stand there a long time before we willingly divest ourselves of everything, but we do it because we are part of His flow.
It isn't necessary for us to know where He takes us; it isn't important for us to explain to others. It is only important that we commit our lives to Him and trust Him with the rest. Is it worth it? Is there as much value in anything else?
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: Have I dropped my worldly