"A Double Double, please." All my Canadian friends just imagined a steaming hot Tim Horton’s coffee with two sugars and two creams. That’s a double double and for those who are south of the border, it’s a coffee travesty! Who puts cream and sugar in what would otherwise be a perfectly good cup of coffee? My loyalty was clear one Sunday when I asked if there was creamer for the coffee and was assured there was and was shown a powered facsimile of creamer at the back of the table. I knew I was in trouble when everyone around me said they take their coffee black!
While a double double might make a tasty cup of coffee for some people, it’s a spiritual travesty for those who are looking for something from God.
The apostle James says:
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
James writes to the Jewish believers trying to encourage them given all the troubles they are facing in diaspora. He refers to them in a way that suggests they have the potential of facing any and every kind of trouble imaginable. And in facing these troubles, his presupposition is that they will ask God for wisdom who will give it to them freely. But there is a condition, and the condition is evidence that James is aware of their deepest shortcoming - they are double minded. They are trying to have one foot in the world and yet be loyal to God. In other words they are not yet fully surrendered to the truth of living a sanctified life that leads to being in the world but not of it. These Jews still wanted to allow themselves some worldliness.
They wanted a cup of black coffee as long as it was a double-double.
It’s easy for us to look at scripture and set ourselves above the fragility and weaknesses of those to whom the apostles wrote. It’s not so easy to personalize scripture by putting our names in as the addressees, whether it is our own individual name, our family, or our religious label - our church.
Getting wisdom means we first have to renounce the double-mindedness. There is no sitting on the fence when it comes to truth. You can’t have it black, if you want cream and sugar.
Like the Jews in James’ day, believers today are facing troubles of every kind. Never before has the truth of God’s word had so much cream and sugar added to it. Like my sister-in-law says, “It’s like drinking frosting! Yuck!”
We have to decide. Are we going to take it black? Or do we really want a double double?
Father, thank you that you never change or cast a shifting shadow. The world is offering many things that appeal to our carnal tastebuds. Help us to love you more. In Jesus’ name and for your glory. Amen.