Good Monday Morning to this week 22 of 2020 (week 10 with restrictions)
The world contradicts itself all the time. Many people can hold two conflicting ideas in their head at the same time, and find ways to admire each one on its own strengths and merits. Yet often, for many, when something arises which demonstrates an inconsistency in our beliefs, we seek to rid ourselves of that inconsistency immediately. This most commonly occurs when our behaviors do not align with our attitudes – we believe one thing, but act against those beliefs. The strength of cognitive dissonance (the pain it causes) depends on the number and relative weight of conflicting beliefs. In order to alleviate the inconsistencies, people are usually presented with a choice: either change their behavior, or justify their behavior by changing their beliefs and cognitions. In other words, people are constantly choosing between either acting in accordance with their beliefs, or rationalizing inconsistent actions.
We’ve seen a lot of this currently going on with the restrictions we’re facing, following
the advice of our leaders and recommendations of health experts, yet seeing how much it does affect our beliefs or values at times. For example the ban on churches to meet in larger groups.
I was in hospital for a few days this week, having some shoulder surgery done. Sharing the room with an elderly man suffering from dementia was quite challenging at times. Various times a day we were checked on, at least every four hours someone came in and asked how we were feeling. If was often asked in regard to the level of pain on a scale from 1 to 10. With my room companion they just asked if he was doing well. He mostly had two answers. I am doing well. Or, I am not doing well. I went on to try to give my specific answer and mentioned the numbers – a level 3 or 4 or 5 of pain. One day it was again mentioned that my blood pressure was very low, to which I would answer that I was aware of it and and coffee would be one solution to that problem. Ordering a coffee quite loudly, he would join in and say oh yes, me too – could you bring me a coffee.
And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him. Hebrews 11:6 (TPT)
The apostle Paul writes that anyone who comes to God must believe that He is and diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
… back to the situation in the hospital room … a bit harder to imply … not to fall asleep, or become distracted, hard having our minds wander when to pray, study, or meditate. Inattention and mind-wandering, although they are related to double-mindedness, do not seem to be what James had in mind.
So what is this then this Greek word “double-minded” or “double-souled,” like having two independent wills describing one divided in mind, that wavers between two opinions.
Maclaren puts it this way in his commentary:
If you hold a cup below a tap, in an unsteady hand, sometimes it is under the whole rush of the water, and sometimes is on one side, and it will be a long time before you get it filled. There will be much of the water spilled. God pours Himself upon us, and we hold our vessels with unsteady hands, and twitch them away sometimes, and the bright blessing fall to fill our cup.
I sat there at times thinking of how much we had in common, not just in the daily routine of questions to our feelings, but also to the way that God was with us in phases of struggling, how little we contribute to our well being and how much less we can contribute to the fact of God’s Grace and presence in “our room” and lives.
Still I fully agree, HE is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The best reward that God, the Rewarder, gives is when He gives Himself. Enoch sought God, came to God, and so he walked with God. The reward of his coming was continuous, calm communion, which gave him a companion in solitude, and one to walk at his side all through the darkness and the roughnesses, as well as the joys and the smoothnesses, of daily life.
I wish you a blessed day and start into this new week, independently of how much
inconsistency or dissonance you face in your daily life and walk.
God is with you!
Have a great day