The Two Dogs

There is a story about two dog that serves as an illustration of the inner conflict of mankind. This story is often contributed to native American folklore, but there seems to be no real proof of that being true. So here are two versions of the same story.

The story seems to have begun in 1978 with Billy Graham in his book, “The Holy Spirit: Activating God’s Power in Your Life.” This version of the story can be found in Chapter 7: The Christian’s Inner Struggle on and it is as follows:

“An Eskimo fisherman came to town every Saturday afternoon. He always brought his two dogs with him. One was white and the other was black. He had taught them to fight on command. Every Saturday afternoon in the town square the people would gather and these two dogs would fight and the fisherman would take bets. On one Saturday the black dog would win; another Saturday, the white dog would win – but the fisherman always won! His friends began to ask him how he did it. He said, “I starve one and feed the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger.” (Page 92)

A second version of the story was published in a 1997 book written by Eliot Rosen and Ellen Burstyn titled, “Experiencing the Soul: Before Birth, During Life, After Death.” This version of the story is on page 15.

“A Native American Elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.” (Page 15)

Billy Graham writes, “This story about the two dogs is apt because it tells us something about the inner warfare that comes into the life of a person who is born again. We have two natures within us, both struggling for mastery. Which one will dominate us? It depends on which one we feed.”

The question for today and this weekend, “Which dog inside of you are you feeding?”

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