someone just sent me this email:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all 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 grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
the “two-natures” explanation of sanctification sucks, because it makes the Christian life a war that YOU can win on your own simply by putting enough energy into it.
so SO common….
If I believe that it’s up to me to rescue myself from sin, then I am locked in a performance Christianity … one where I am responsible to force myself into ‘right decisions’ by my own willpower.
it’s not enough to just say, “hey. God has rescued my will … so now I can do it!! I can do it!! I can DO it!!!”
the point of the Gospel is we CAN’T do it.
I can’t make myself holy — no more now than I could when I was “dead in my trespasses and sins.” Galatians is all about this…. so is Romans 7. If I was saved entirely by Grace, how can I expect to work myself into holiness?
I remember that one of the earliest knock-down, drag-out theological fights that happened between Coart & me was a two or three day discussion (in the dating parlor, around campus, everywhere! haha) over this very point.
That discussion wrestled me out of my allegiance to that “two natures” theology. We hadn’t been dating really long — we were still undergrads. And that’s when I first realized that Coart’s allegiance to truth was grounded in a tenacious hold to biblical data, not to theological systems or pat answers.
Let’s stop passing this story around, OK?