Are you watching what you eat this summer? No, I’m not talking about food, calories, or carbs so that you’re in tip-top shape for your bathing suit. I’m talking about what you’re feeding your mind to keep your whole self in shape. Take the old story of the two wolves:
An old man is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, worry, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside of you and in every other person too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The evil wolf described can be very normal, especially when we’re experiencing such things as loss and difficult circumstances. However, if we “feed” or focus most of our thoughts and attention on the evil wolf, it can become so powerful and all-consuming that the good wolf feels defeated. But God gave us a spirit of power and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7), which means we have the ability to choose which wolf we feed. When we choose to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Phil 4:8), we feed the good wolf, and it begins to overshadow the evil one.
Ask yourself some of these questions about what you’re “eating.” Do my thoughts tend to lean toward the good wolf or the evil one? Are my thoughts helpful for me? What things in my life are true, lovely, excellent, etc. that I could focus more of my thoughts and attention on?
Sometimes it can be something as simple as putting more of your focus on enjoying time with your friends and family at the beach than on how you look in your bathing suit. But sometimes when we’ve been feeding the evil wolf for so long, we need some help to learn how to feed the good wolf. In such cases, counseling can be helpful.
A good “diet” is as important to our physical well-being as it is to our mental well-being. Whatever your circumstances, are you watching what you “eat?”