I tell an old story* every so often at camp. It’s a simple thing. But, like most good and simple stories, it opens our eyes to what is important.
The funny thing is that, while I’ve told the story many times, I’ve never related it to what was probably it’s foundational story.
The 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 simply replied, The one you feed.
A Christian's Battle
Now, take a look at Colossians 3:5-15:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth′ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Sound familiar? Our young men (and everyone else) need to know that they have both good and evil inside them. They also need to know their actions are based on specific choices.
If this is the case, then, they have one major question to answer: which wolf are they feeding?
*Full disclosure – I do not know where the Two Wolves stories truly comes from. I don’t know if it misapplied to the Cherokee Nation or taken from another. However, it’s a good and useful story and I appreciate the people or person from whence it came!
Photo by Michael LaRosa on Unsplash