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The Wolf You Feed

By Watchman | October 27, 2008

  I usually begin each post with Scripture, but the following story which came to me via e-mail seemed to me one which needs to be shared.

TWO WOLVES

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

      Most of us are quite aware that the food we put in our bodies affects our health, our weight and our levels of energy.  There are enough nutrition books in print to stock a good-sized library, we can’t leave home without our favorite fad diet facts at our fingertips, and nearly every talk show has dedicated one or more programs to the care and feeding of our bodies.  But how careful are we to attend to the feeding of our spirits?  Just as a diet of potato chips and Snickers Bars will leave us ill, vitamin-and-nutrient deficient and lethargic, so will neglecting to monitor what is entering into our hearts and minds cause a spiritual deficiency and lethargy that can quickly turn us from our position in the center of God’s will.  It is important to make a decision now:  which “wolf” will you feed?

       Just as our bodies can either grow and thrive on healthy living or weaken and decay through our poor nutrition choices, our spirits can be greatly affected by what we allow to enter our hearts from outside sources.  Some of these outside influences, such as what one is forced to hear at school, we can control through careful diligence and the training of our consciences to be able to identify and process good information from bad.  Too frequently, however, we actively invite the wrong influences into our lives and become desensitized to evil as a result–even, eventually, to the point of feeling uncomfortable with being caught by others encouraging Godly and righteous examples to surround us. 

     Brothers and sisters, it’s time to clean house!  We worry to death if we don’t get the dust bunnies swept up from under the dresser, but we allow the most monsterous filth into our homes every day in many different guises:

1)  TV and Movies.  Many homes have on the TV constantly as long as someone is at home.  What are you allowing in on your TV?  Think this isn’t really a contributor to how you think?  Just think about where your most comfortable chairs are and in what direction they face!  I guarantee that in about 90% of all houses those comfy spots face the TV!  Now, I’m not saying that watching TV is evil–I love it, myself–but we need to be particularly careful to note to what attitudes and belief systems we are wrongfully becoming inured through this medium.  The standards of right and wrong, good and bad that were once considered a part of responsible programming no longer exist.  Just in the last twenty years a latitude never before seen has been granted to network programming.  Take the language, for instance.  Not only are some more adult programs allowing words once banned to all but cable movie channels, even so-called “family” programs make use of vulgarities of language and situation.  Ironically, the only language not given the old nod of the head is the proper use of the Name of God.  With the obvious exception of overtly Christian programming, few, if any, references are made to God except in a derogatory way, and His holy Name is used only as a swear word.  (Remember the Third Commandment?  “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”)  Most people, even Christians, no longer even notice that our Lord is being denigrated and insulted in the majority of the programs they regularly watch.  If the program is a sitcom, then any Christian who appears will be either a lunatic or a hypocrite.  If the program is a drama, then the Christian will often be a “homophobe”, mass murderer or the parent of a mass murderer.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is not planned!  Just as casual sex, homosexual lifestyles and co-habitating couples are treated as the norm for the purpose of effecting social change, so are the continuously sarcastic references to the Lord and His believers.  What movies to you bring home from the video store?  Do they encourage and uplift you in your faith?  If you belong to the majority, probably not.  We have become so used to placidly watching what God has deemed unacceptable that we seem to believe there is a separation of church and entertainment in the same way people believe in the constitutionally non-existant separation of church and state.  Violence and horror are graphic in both TV and movies (I’m talking about the new ones:  the old Frankenstein/Dracula flicks were a hoot!), and believe me, my friends, this garbage makes its way into your spirit!  It gets inside you and feeds any part inside that has a tendency towards anger, selfishness, violence, hate or rebellion. 

2)  Pornography.  What an insidious evil this is!  It’s not that pornography hasn’t been around since pictures were being chiseled onto cave walls, but at least there used to be a general concensus that viewing sexually explicit material was wrong.  Once upon a time this garbage was delivered via brown paper wrapping so that no one had to be exposed to it unless they actively searched for it; now, the internet has made it so accessible that even children have no problem finding their way to the most atrocious sites.  Consider this:  God is as cognizant of what you access on the ‘net as He is of the color and number of the hairs on your head.  Hugh Hefner, founder and publisher of Playboy magazine is an international celebrity and invitations to parties at the Playboy mansion are considered to be an honor–a prime example of the fact that the purveyors of filth have become media darlings.  Folks, marriages are in such trouble today, with divorce rates hovering around fifty percent.  Now couples are trying to contend with the explosion of what we diplomatically term “sexual addictions” as well as financial upheavals and societal changes.   Although women are included in the sexual addiction categories, men seem to be the most prone to becoming addicted to pornography, especially since its availability has increased in the last few years. 

3.  Books.  Ladies, do you spend a lot of time reading those sex-and-big-business sagas or the erotic “historical” romances?  These should carry a warning label.  I  think the biggest danger here is that they tend to make women dissatisfied with their lives and their marriages. How about the horror novels and the occult fiction that always seem to be on the best-seller lists? Are you getting from them the correct attitudes and world-view?  Are you carefully selecting what your children read; books that will help them build up strong characters and the ability to choose good over evil? 

     Another way we “feed the wolf” is through our emotions.  When we allow anger against others or resentment toward our circumstances to consume us, we neither honor God nor do we take full advantage of the gifts and privileges given to us by Him.  “Go with your feelings” is probably one of the silliest tidbits of advice we hear.  Our feelings can betray us; more importantly, our feelings can and often are diametrically opposed to the will of God as revealed in His Word.  Our emotions are often dictated by our sense of pride rather than by our God-given knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. 

     Obviously, there are many, many menus with which to feed the wolf of evil.  So what do we feed the wolf inside to foster good?  God is so cool!  He never leaves us at a loss to know what to do in any situation.  His Word is our guidebook, and contains all we need for our own spiritual health and well-being. 

1.   Spend time daily in the Scriptures.  Although God sometimes speaks to the heart of those He loves, no one can truly know the mind and heart of God without reading His Word.  The more you read the Bible the quicker you are to be able to distinguish between those things that build you up and will keep you pressing forward “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14), and those that will turn you away from the presence of the Lord and toward an eternity of regret and separation from the One Who loves you.  It is through Holy Scripture that we learn to “cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  (II Corin. 10:5)

The next eight all come from I Thessalonians 5:14-21:

2“Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”  In teaching, we grow in truth; in comforting, we gain comfort; in strengthening the faith of those around us we strengthen our spiritual muscles.

3.  “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”  Psychologists tell us we can be “survivors” of our past and that anger for what has happened to us in life is healthy and normal.  Christ tells us to forgive our enemies and it is in forgiveness that we become, not survivors, but victors!

4.  “Rejoice always.”  Eat a steady diet of thankfulness for the many mercies you have been shown by God.  It may seem hard at first to rejoice in all circumstances, but it becomes much easier when you spend time in the Word of God and fully realize the blessings you receive through Christ’s sacrificial atonement for us on the cross.  Through His death and resurrection He has defeated death, and Hell no longer has dominion over you!  So when things go well, Praise Him!  When life gets a little rough, Praise Him!

 

5.  “Pray without ceasing.”  A recent study revealed that the average lay Christian prays no longer than five minutes a day, and the average pastor and preacher no more than fifteen.  We need to be spending far more quality time in conversation with our Lord!

6.  “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

7.  “Do not quench the Spirit.”  The Holy Spirit will take up His dwelling place within you if you allow it.  Let the Spirit guide and lead you into all righteousness through Christ Jesus. 

8.  “Do not despise prophecies.”

9.  “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 

And finally, from the fourth chapter of James comes the most important morsel of all:

10.  “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

     You see, my brothers and sisters in Christ, whether we feed the “good wolf” or the “bad wolf” within us boils down to one choice alone:  Will we submit to God or rebel against Him?   We must learn that we cannot do both.  I Corinthians 10:21 tells us that we “cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.” 

     Jeus loves you so much!  He will give you the strength to overcome any evil, any addiction, any bad habit, any fear and any shame.  All you have to do is ask Him to be Lord of your life. 

Which wolf will you feed from this day forward?  Decide now. 

Maranatha!

 

 

Topics: Kingdom Living | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “The Wolf You Feed”

  1. Rick Boyer Says:
    October 27th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Well said

  2. Susan Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Excellent as always my friend! 🙂

  3. Jule Says:
    November 10th, 2015 at 6:15 am

    hello!,I like your writing so much! share we cmaounicmte more about your poston AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem.May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  4. Watchman Says:
    November 10th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Don’t have AOL, but feel free to e-mail me at the web address under “Contact Us.” I’d be happy to speak with you.

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