A Cherokee Legend
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him angry at a friend who he felt had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story…
I too, at times, have felt a great resentment for those who have taken so much, with no seeming sorrow or remorse for what they do. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me engaged in a challenging conflict.”
“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. He does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
Sometimes, it is a challenge to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit. The same challenge is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Do you ever stop to ponder….which wolf inside of you do you feed more?
The apostle Paul states that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, then we are a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! Paul talks about the battle inside of each of us, the old self (our bodies dead to sin) and the new self (we are a new creation adopted as Sons & Daughters of God because of his gift of his Son Jesus Christ.
This morning in men’s group’s we talked about idolatry and the ideas of hoarding (both physical and mental and spiritual). The hard part about life is that we each have our own proverbial baggage. That is, to say, that we have stuff to deal with. Stuff that could be given to us through brokenness from a family or from a habit or from any kind of manifestation of our past. The key to this is to be content (or what I refer to as the secret to life verses found in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 and Philippians 4:11-13).
Which wolf (which “self”) do we feed more? The old hymn of Turn Your eyes upon Jesus is so relevant to this post:
O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting. He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell!
So where to start today of doing some house cleaning in our physical, mental and spiritual lives is to put some good disciplines in our lives: 1) Read the word every day 2) memorize scripture 3) get involved in a bible study (men’s group) 4) listen to preaching and teaching 5) worship and 6) pray continually – ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those “idols” in our lives that we need to remove and 7) Repent of these things and become new.
We can take a portion of such a great chapter in the Bible:
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.[f]
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!
Make this your prayer today! Teach me Lord your ways (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and strength and love your neighbor as yourself, on these two commandments all the Law and prophets hang). Give me wisdom and discernment and understanding. Lead me in the paths that you want me to take. Incline my heart for your will O Lord that I may listen and do your will. Turn my eyes upon Jesus. Confirm in me that I am doing your will and not mine (less of me and more of you O Lord). Turn away those things in my life that you no longer want from me. Behold my life and my heart and my ways and reveal to me your desires.