Two Wolves - A Cherokee Story
- also known as Grandfather Tells and The Wolves Within

Two Wolves is a Cherokee legend. There's also another version which is titled "Grandfather Tells' or 'The Wolves Within'. But both version tells the same story. It depicts the two natures within us - the good and the evil nature.

two wolvesTwo Wolves - A Cherokee Legend

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 grand son thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Read the other version of the Two Wolves story below.

Grandfather Tells (The Wolves Within)

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger 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 that 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 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 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! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all 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."

Our Struggles With Sin

Two Wolves might just be a Cherokee legend but for a Christian, this story could be an illustration of the Christian's conflict and struggle between the two natures - the old and the new nature.

In Romans 7 : 14 - 25, Paul told us about his struggles with sin - the waging wars within him. "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." and "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing."

Either we live "according to the flesh" or "according to the Spirit".

Walking in the flesh leads to death while walking in the Spirit produces life, peace and joy. The waging wars will remain with us but we can choose to feed the flesh or live according to the Holy Spirit.

As Christian we have been delivered from the power of sin and are empowered by the Spirit of God to choose good over evil.

Romans 8 gives us the solution to our problem. The answer is the Holy Spirit whom God has sent to help us. The indwelling Holy Spirit is God's provision to deliver us from condemnation and empowered us to live a life that pleases God.

We are not obligated to the flesh but to God to live according to the Spirit. Galatians 5: 16-17 "But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want."

Let's choose to walk in the Spirit and please God - Let us live as 'sons of God'.

Yes. We are children of God and it is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

Romans 8 : 12 - 17

So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." 

The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God's children. 

And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) - if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.

Next time, whenever there's no peace in your heart as you struggle within, let this story - Two Wolves - reminds you that it's what you feed on that will differentiate what you will become. In his letter to the Philippians, Pauls exhorted them to think (meditate) on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report and so forth.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Let's think good thoughts of ourselves, of situations and of others. Out of these thoughts come words of love and encouragement.

Always remember that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Walk in step with Him. He will enable us to do the good and right thing so that we may please and glorify God.

Seek Peace

Depart from evil, 

and do good; 

seek peace, 

and pursue it.

~ Psalm 34:14.

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