Today I came across an old Cherokee tale that tells of a grandfather teaching life principles to his grandson. The wise old Cherokee said, “Son, on the inside of every person a battle is raging between two wolves. One wolf is evil. It’s angry, jealous, unforgiving, proud, and lazy.
The other wolf is good. It’s filled with love, kindness, humility, and self-control. ” These two wolves are constantly fighting”, the grandfather said. The little boy thought about it, and said, “Grandpa, which wolf is going to win?” The grandfather smiled and said, “Whichever one you feed”.
Feeding impatience, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, or other negative traits will only make them stronger. For instance, maybe you complain frequently about your job. You’re always talking negatively about your boss, how that company doesn’t treat you right, and how you can’t stand the long drive or traffic to work.
Ironically, when we complain, we feel a sense of release. It feels good to feed those negative thoughts. But the wolf we feed will always want more. The next time you are tempted to complain, ask yourself, ” Do I really want to keep feeding this negative habit?” “Do I really want to stay where I am?” Or, “Do I want to starve this complaining spirit and step up higher?”
If you start feeding peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility, and self-control, you will see those character traits developing in your life. Make a better choice and instead of complaining about going to work, learn to say, “Father, I thank you that at least I have a job. And these people may not be treating me right, but I’m not working for man; I’m working unto you. Please continue to make me better. May I never forget to be thankful for where I am now and where you’re taking me”.
When you do that, you’re feeding the right thing and the new habits develop. A habit is an acquired, learned behavior that we do without even thinking about it. It’s almost involuntary. We’ve done it so much it becomes practically second nature. If we have good habits, that may be fine. But sometimes our habits are keeping us from God’s best, and we may not even realize it.
Many of the habits that we’ve developed stem from the culture in which we were raised. If you grew up in a home where people were disorganized, sloppy, or perpetually late, you may have formed some of those negative habits. Or if you were raised around people who tended to be harsh, sarcastic, or rude, you may have picked up some of that same behavior too. You may not even realize that such attitude and behavior are offensive since that is all you’ve ever known.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people grow up around people with positive habits such as neatness, godliness, cleanliness, and order. Many people have established positive habits concerning diets and exercise. Other individuals have a habit of getting up at a particular time and going to bed at a time that will allow their body to rest and be refreshed. All these are positive learned behavior patterns.
Your habits whether good or bad will greatly determine your future. We are bound to keep doing what we’ve always done. It is no wonder that if you want to change your life, you must start by consciously changing your everyday habits. You can’t keep doing the same things you’ve been doing and expect to get a different result.
It’s a fact: successful people develop better habits. Do you want to be successful? Do you want to become a better version of yourself? Stop feeding your bad habits. Start taking inventory of your habits. Understand that your habits may not be legally, ethically, or morally wrong. It can be a seemingly innocuous action or attitude, a little thing, but if you don’t do something about it, it can go for years wasting time and energy, being unproductive and unprofitable.
And that’s not God’s best for you!
Blessings and Grace
Photo Credit: Google Pics