By Dr. Joyce of The Caring Heart Spokane, WA
“…he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Jas. 1:6-8
A few years ago friend Suzie* came over all excited. She had the inspiration that we should both save money to take a trip to Israel. I thought going to Israel was a bit too ambitious (and too spendy), but a weekend trip some fascinating place would be extremely high on my priority list. So, I opened a savings account at my bank in which a certain amount was automatically deducted from checking and put into savings each month. The money could not be withdrawn for one year, thereby allowing me a higher interest rate.
The year went by but Suzie, unfortunately, saved nothing, and all her big
trip talk was seemingly meaningless and forgotten. I was very hurt and
disappointed. I had saved my money and had been excited about going
for a whole year!
Sound familiar? There seems to be a million versions of talk which leads to nothing. “I’ll return your book, for sure.” “I’ll call you next week.” “Let’s get together really soon.” “Someone will call to pick you up for church.” (This last one actually happened to me yesterday. Nobody called or came.) “I’d be glad to help you with that project.” On and on. The varied scenarios happen at an epidemic rate! Can you relate? Being unreliable is a bad habit that many folks should work on!
The animal world is, of course, tragically affected by irresponsible unreliability also. Oh, yes, my-my, “so and so” is going to take wonderful care of that dog, cat, horse, bird, or whoever poor victim they are excited (at the moment) about taking home. How many millions of times have such precious animals been found later to be in a pitifully neglected and/or abused state? Sinful! Criminal! Cruel!
Perhaps what happens a lot of the time is that people say things that they mean when they say them, because that is how they feel right then. Later on, other things have happened in their lives, and they are more interested in those other things, so their previous words to their friends, family, bosses, or whoever, end up being forgotten.
Or, even if remembered, those plans no longer seem interesting, so are not followed up on. Probably little or no thought is given to how the person (or animal) on the other end of the aborted plan feels. Maybe someone says something because he or she wants to make a good impression at the time, or maybe he or she feels expected to say something. Certain personality types appear to need to generate drama repeatedly, to give them the feeling of excitement in their lives, which, they believe, gives their lives more meaning. “I want to do something exciting, and I want a buddy (you) to do it with.”
Histrionic personality disorder types are extreme in generating
ever-shifting drama. Instability flows over into other areas
also. How many times are projects started enthusiastically, only to gather
dust, unfinished, over the years? In years past, so many people would
work the same job into retirement. Nowadays it is quite acceptable and
usual to work a variety of positions over one’s work years. Whatever!
People relocate much more often now.
On the other hand, we all have unexpected happenings in life come up that require we change what we have planned to do. If such happens, we can thoughtfully explain to the other person and re-plan with him or her; we don’t have to leave the person “hanging.”
Also, we have all genuinely forgotten at one time or another, which we can apologize for. But, we have all known people who have the bad habit of being “all talk and no go.” They are unreliable time after time. What happens to trust then? Do you trust what they say anymore? Huh-uh! Really messes up quality relatedness! The sneaky part comes in where they don’t seem to think it is any “big deal” that they neglected to follow through. Doesn’t bother them a bit, and shouldn’t bother you! Shouldn’t everything be just fine?
Meanwhile, trust in the whimsical person is dwindling, usually replaced
by irritation, anger, and disappointment. If the unreliable person has
an indifferent, uncaring attitude towards how they have treated you, he or
she is really guilty of coldness, disrespect, and at least mild abuse –
being definitely unloving and sinful. Or, how about those who always
feed their animals when they “get around to it.?” Would those people
like being gnawingly hungry, not knowing when (or if) the next meal is
Well, God has told us how he wants us to act. We should only suggest and commit ourselves to plans when we have considered whether or not we can realistically go through with the plans, and if they fit into the “bigger picture” going on in our lives. Also, we need to think about the feelings, needs, and inconvenience to the person or animal, on the other end if we don’t go through with something he or she really was depending on. Trust busting can really hurt someone else and damages relationships for sure. We lose confidence in what the unreliable person says. Who knows if it is “for real” or not?
Trust busting damages our relationships with God, too. God requires us to be stable, dependable, and unwavering. We are to be of one mind, and not double, or triple, or quadruple minded, “as the wind blows.” Speech which is impulsive should be avoided because it usually does not work well. We need to take some time to consider all relevant aspects of each situation before us. Can we realistically follow through on what we are about to propose? Are we sure we have the time and resources? Are we sure we really want to do whatever it is? Can we focus beyond our own self-centeredness to consider the wishes of the person or animal on the other end, especially when that Person is the Almighty Three-In-One? Do we want to grow into very genuine adult spiritual maturity? Do we want God to use us? Well, we need to definitely work on this whole area. I’m trying to be more careful, and I hope you are, too. SAFEGUARDING ALL CREATURES FROM PAIN IS PARAMOUNT!
The Moral of This Story Is:
God can’t use us if he can’t count on us, and neither can anyone else!
Dr. Joyce The Caring Heart Copyright 2012