Two Wolves

Years ago, I received a quaint little parable from a member of the church. It is interesting how common sense and the Bible so often run hand-in-hand. The story goes like this:

An old Indian Grandfather said to his grandson who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice,

“Let me tell you a story.

I, too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and 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. He saves all his energy for the right fight. But the other wolf, ahhh, he is full of anger. 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. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

The Bible teaches the principle of this parable. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16). Paul was constantly battling the evil within; “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). The Psalmist encourages, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it… Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore” (Psalm 34:17; 37:27).

Which wolf do you feed?

JDS