Bo lived out in the country and loved it. He would get up early every Summer morning grab his fishing pole and head to the creek. His mother wouldn’t see him until he got hungry which didn’t usually take to long. When he wasn’t jumping hay bales, he was burning ants, climbing trees, or going on some adventure with his dog Max
One morning he was putting out food for his dog when strange one stepped out from the shadows. Startled, Bo dropped the food and stepped back. He had not seen this dog before. By the look of him, he had not been fed for a while. Snarling and growling the two dogs lowered their heads, pinned their ears back and two stared at each other for what seemed like eternity. Bo left the food and walked away that day.
After a few days, the black dog warmed up to the new environment and did not growl as often. Bo was able to feed without problem. However the two dogs never did seem to get along no matter what Bo did. The black dog had a look in his eye that would scare Bo now and then. He named him Malus. The name just came to him.
Returning from an adventure with Max, he found Malus. Honestly, Bo wondered if Malus found him. He was not in the usual spot and was angry. His lips raised to show teeth. He bark was mean and loud and that terrified Bo. Max stiffened and prepared to attack. Bo brought some food out and the two quieted down. Unsure of what to make of it, Bo went in to eat.
Days turned to weeks and the heat of Summer kept rising. Bo discovered that Malus wasn’t that bad as long as Max wasn’t around. It seemed the two dogs would never become friends. Bo’s Dad came out one day and asked Bo a question.
“Which dog are you going to keep?”
Bo wanted them both. He like the adventures with both Max and Malus. He had started going out one day with Max and the next with Malus. The stories he would tell at school were going to be epic! He could never take them both. Now his Dad was asking him to choose. Choose? Why did he have to choose? Why couldn’t he continue with this plan? Why couldn’t he keep both? As he struggled with this question, he fell asleep. The next morning, he awoke as the sun filled his room. He threw on some clothes and went outside. Coming to the backside of the barn he heard something strange. The dogs were fighting again. Bo just did not understand why they couldn’t get along. He had to admit that he noticed both wanted his attention. Everyday he would come and pick one to go out for the day. How was he going to choose? Would he choose Max, the one who had loved him his whole life? Would he choose Malus, the strange new dog who had a mean streak? Would he choose Max, who had been his faithful friend? Would he choose Malus, who would try to pick a fight?
In each one us lies two dogs. You will either love the one and hate the other or serve the one and not the other. You cannot live with both. Like Bo, you must choose which dog you will feed. The Apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Which dog will you feed today?