A Word From Ron – Uni-Psyche

Timing, context, and no mention of Gentiles leads us to believe that James was written to the Jews, God’s chosen people. His writing is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament book of Proverbs encouraging practical action of faith from those professing a relationship with God. His words are perhaps a little more direct than Proverbs as he challenges his reader to pursue holiness and undivided faith in God alone.

It is a subtle slippery slope for those who have riches, intellect, or influence to deviate from trusting totally in God, to what they themselves are capable of. We see this far too often in Christianity; we hear and see it far too often in those who are our spiritual leaders. Perhaps for the “chosen” of God, Israel, being chosen had gone to their head.

I was traveling in Africa many years ago when I met an influential, and truly Godly pastor, also the head of a denomination, who told me of the influence my grandfather had on his life as a young pastor. He told me my grandfather was traveling with another administrator from our mission at the time, who this young pastor already knew quite well.

He told me that after spending a week together, he asked their translator to share something he had on his heart. He told the translator, who then translated to my grandfather that he was truly, clearly a man of faith. It was clear to him that he was a man of God that listens first to the voice of God. He further shared that the other man traveling with them who he already knew, clearly listens to himself, from his own mind, his own plans, not God first. He trusted in his own strength and intellect.

He told me that his translator communicated to my grandfather only about his admiration of his faith and wished he had translated the truth to the other gentleman, because it was something he probably needed to hear. But even so, he shared that he has endeavored to model his life after that man of faith who is the only man of faith like that he had ever met. After hearing that story, I have asked God to help me make that kind of impression on people, not to emulate me, but to be an example of faith that others would be inspired to be as well.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For 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. James 1:5–8. KJV

“That man”, the one who seeks for, asks for wisdom, but lacks faith cannot be trusted with such a gift from God. James describes the man who is “double minded,” literally of two psyches, as having one foot in the realm of trusting in what he is capable of doing and a foot in faith in God. But this “double faith” is one faith too many and makes him too unstable to be entrusted with wisdom from God. Wisdom is a sacred gift entrusted to mankind and it’s not one God gives liberally to, outside of an undivided faith.

I pray that my faith will be “uni-psyche!” One that God would trust me, with that which I desire, to know Him more and to be trusted with His wisdom. I yearn that men and women would look at me in the same way they looked at my grandfather, clear to them that I listen not to my own voice, my own mind, but to the voice of God.

Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.

President / CEO

August 28, 2023

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