Many years ago, an elderly Cherokee told his grandson about the greatest battle we all face. The grandson was eager; as he sat down and listened to the wise old man speak. He was curious – what was the greatest battle we face?
“My son” he said. “The battle is between 2 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 looked at his grandfather. They sat in silence for a minute, until the grandson glanced at him again and asked: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Always remember: the thoughts, the stories, and the emotions you feed – that’ll be the wolf that wins.
Have you ever had a thought that seemed to come from nowhere? A random thought like, “hey, let’s go to Florida for a week?” Or, “let’s buy an RV?” Or, “I’m going to quit my job.”
Sometimes people respond differently to such thoughts, ideas and dreams. Take the Florida thought for instance. One family may not give it much thought due to its spontaneous nature, while others may jump on the idea and start packing. I think most people would want to spend time carefully thinking about the thoughts that come to them.
· Can we afford it?
· Is it timely?
· Is it the right destination?
They would examine the thought, investigate the possibilities, and challenge the viability.
What about the shame thoughts that come to you? Thoughts that speak:
· I’m a failure.
· I am unlovable.
· I am unworthy.
· I don’t count.
· I'm stupid.
I know of some people who never question their shameful thinking because it has been fed over a long period of time. So now they are captured by their own unhealthy thoughts.
People who do not challenge their destructive thinking will end up relinquishing power and allow themselves to be controlled by them.
There is wise encouragement in the Bible that suggests we take every thought captive and choose what to do with it.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5
Think about your thoughts!
There are times when a person needs to give their thoughts more attention before just accepting them. If unhealthy thinking is never challenged, someone may end up losing control over their emotions and behaviors. Thoughts that go unchallenged or unquestioned are allowed to roam freely inside, wreaking havoc with their minds. This evil and dangerous wolf will devour and destroy all sense of reason and sanity inside and will direct a person to focus on a source of peace outside of their control.
For example, let’s consider the shameful belief, “I am a failure.” Someone may choose to have peace only if gainfully employed. What if this person loses their job? If they do not challenge this thought, they may be convinced: “See, I was right all along, I am a failure. Look; I can’t even keep a job.” The only peace for this person was in the “security” of a job, a source outside of themselves. As a result, they feel stressed, angry, and fearful, and may act in desperate and harried ways: out of control.
Thoughts need to be:
· Thought about
Are these thoughts true?
Are they legitimate, rational, or healthy?
Do I want to continue thinking these thoughts?
Would these thoughts prosper me?
What consumes a person’s mind will control their life. A person cannot solve their problems by using the same kind of thinking they used when they created them.
So take thoughts captive and investigate their validity and truth. Then this wolf, the truthful wolf, will protect and guard and only allow that which benefits us on the inside. We will take peace with us no matter where we go. It could be storming outside, but a person brings peace and calm with them because the tranquility and serenity they’re looking for is in them. Jesus said many times to his friends, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Peace be with you.”