In 1 Corinthians 9:27 , the inspired apostle Paul wrote, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” The Holy Spirit ’s teaching of “self-control” in the life of the apostle Paul can be further illustrated in the following story:
An old grandfather counseled his grandson who was angry 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 who 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 a poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”
He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all those 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. But…the other wolf…ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of anger. He fights everyone, all of 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!”
We need to make certain that we “feed” (spiritually speaking) the “right” wolf within each of us. We can accomplish this by adhering to the inspired words of the apostle Paul :
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” ( Philippians 4:8 ).
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