Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Story of Two Wolves

There’s a Cherokee Indian story about a young boy and his grandfather. The young boy approaches his elder and tells him of a conflict that he is having. He says there are two wolves that are living inside of him, and that they are having a constant battle. He says one is a wolf that is evil. That wolf is filled with emotions of anger, self-pity, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is a wolf that is good. That wolf is filled with joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson thought for a moment, then looked at his grandfather and said, “If they are fighting Grandfather, who wins?”

 The Grandpa replied, “Whichever one you feed.”

 There is so much truth in that story. The animal that is fed will grow strong. It will be able to overtake the other wolf, which without being fed will grow weak and unable to fight. The strong wolf will dominate the other, and with the strength from being fed the wolf will be able to fight to its full capacity, while the other wolf will never be able to overcome, because it will simply starve or be overtaken. How true is this in our lives? We live in a world that we have allowed ourselves to become so consumed with things that are evil. In a world that draws thin, gray lines between good and evil, somehow the lines have gotten blurred and it is hard for us to discern between the two. Things that we once accepted as evil has somehow became confused between things that are good. That I believe is why there’s so much evil in the world, because we allow ourselves to be consumed by evil, masked as something good.

 I have found in my life that this is very true. Whatever you surround yourself with, that’s how you feel, think and act. If you want to watch things that are inappropriate on television, or listen to music that promotes things that you know God hates, you will put yourself in a place that hinders you spiritually. That’s not something I like to think about, because there are a lot of movies that I really enjoy that are honestly against all of my true morals, and that’s something that I fight within myself about. However, the morals that are black and white in Gods eyes are a shade of gray in the eyes of the world. On the surface partaking in something so widely accepted in the world may seem innocent, but within my heart it pollutes the good that is inside of me and hinders the Holy Spirit that so desperately wants to have a hold on my heart and life. Again, its not something that I like to admit, and something that I frequently allow to slide in my life.. but I always pay the price of feeling regret afterward.

 I’ve also found in my lifetime that there are certain situations that you simply must remove yourself from. Some people who are well meaning can be so engulfed in anger and hatred that just being around them can allow those feelings to overtake your heart and honestly, poison your life. You will find yourself surrounded by it, overtaken by it.. that is the wolf that you chose to feed, and that wolf will overtake the other, spoiling your heart and hindering your spiritual growth. I talk a lot about proecting your heart, and the Bible did also. We must protect our heart, with all that we have. We must be certain that our lives are lived out in a way that people can see God inside of us. Your testimony, your church attendance, or even how skillfully you serve does not show the world God as much as the way that you live out your life. We must choose each day who we serve. If we wish to be consumed with things that are evil.. anger, bitterness, resentment, self-pity, envy, pride, jealousy.. if those are the things that pour out of your life, people will be unable to see God in you, and will not follow God because of you.

If we call ourselves Christians, although we are always going to fall behind and to fail, we must at least set our eyes on trying to be Christ-like. Saying that you are not the Christian that you should be is truth and we all should realize that to save from being self-righteous, but refusing to try and change, holding onto something that is evil and polluting of our heart and spirit is as harmful as drinking poison. It will lead to our spiritual death, and to spiritual decay of those around us and those whose lives we influence. The book of Galatians explains to us what we should look for and what we should try to produce as fruits of the Holy Spirit.

 Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 

 If these things are not present in your life, then you should re-examine your situation. Remove things from your life that hinder your spiritual growth. Don’t allow the devil to have a stronghold on your life. Examine your heart, and refuse to feed something that is going to bring harm.