A Double-Minded Man

In the summer of 1972, when I’d just gotten out of jail for selling drugs, after having found redemption and forgiveness of my sins in the confines of a 4 1/2′ by 6 1/2′ solitary confinement cell and having pledged myself to walk the straight and narrow, I was right back to my old habits.

I’d bought a farmhouse in Ashland, MO, just outside of Columbia, where I had people coming by, looking for marijuana. One day, I got a call from my childhood older friend, Yancy Bolton, who said he wanted to come around and sample my wares. He arrived in a powder blue 1971 Cadillac El Dorado.

Yancy was a pimp for a high-end clientele, which included some state legislators. He was accompanied by two of his ladies. At one point during the course of the day, these ladies began to giggle and speak out of turn. Yancy was infuriated and started to slap them around. I, still fresh from my recent spiritual awakening in jail, was horrified at this behavior, and I said to him, “Man, stop it! This is wrong!”

Yancy became very sober, looked at me with a calm intensity, and said, “Karl, when you are in line with what you propose to be, when you are as good a Christian as I am a pimp, then I will listen to what you say.” “Until then,” he continued, “keep your mouth shut.” His words cut me to the quick.

Not everyone is as hard-headed as I and has to get life lessons from someone such as Yancy, but I remember this day so well that I can tell you what I was wearing. I was truly convicted of my double-mindedness then. Yancy saw right through me and told the truth. (God help us to meet someone who will see us so clearly and speak honestly to us.) His words live in me, and so I have been struggling ever since to be in line with what I propose to be.

Yancy Bolton has passed away, and I keep him in my prayers as one who has helped me in life. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Lord, have mercy on us!