God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Feeding the Wolves

posted by gp_intern

This past weekend, my wife Joy Carroll Wallis was the commencement speaker at Goshen College in Indiana. She began with a story:

My hope today is to equip you with a warning and commission that might be helpful as you set out on this journey, as you begin the next chapter of your lives. So I want to tell you a story. 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, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other one is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about this for few minutes and then he looked up at his grandfather and asked: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed. The one you feed.”

Joy said,

You see, just because you are all set with this fabulous educational and spiritual experience here at Goshen, it doesn’t mean it’s easy or plain sailing from here on in. Most people assume that if we can get this life thing and how to live it figured out in our heads that we’re fine. At college, we often believe we can think our way into a new way of living, but that’s actually not the way it works. In reality, it’s more likely that we will live our way into a new way of thinking. And that’s the challenge before all of us. It’s all about the choices and the decisions that we make – making the right choices, feeding the right wolves, and it’s something we will all wrestle with for the rest of our lives, even on a daily basis.

Then she challenged the students:

Don’t just ask the question, “Does this career path bring me job satisfaction?” Ask, “Does it bring meaning?” and the Christian question is, “Does it contribute to the building of God’s kingdom?” Don’t just go where you are directed or invited. Don’t just do something because you can – but try and make the connections between your talents and gifts and your deepest values and beliefs. Go where your moral compass leads you.

You can read the entire speech, “Feeding the Wolves.”



Advertisement
Comments read comments(33)
post a comment
bob carlton

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:13 pm


what a gorgeous speech !



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted May 2, 2007 at 10:39 pm


Sounds great. p



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:55 am


Thank you for the wisdom embodied in this speech.



report abuse
 

Donny

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:00 am


If no one supported (fed) Sojouners and other Liberal and Progressive organizations, then the wolves clothed in this form of false religion, causing so much harm to the flock, would shrink in numbers to small to do any further damage. One or two wolves are hardly a danger, but a pack of them – Christian Alliance for Progress, ACLU, AU, Marxists, GLBT, Democrats, et al – can continue unabated to hurt the Church. Let us protect and feed orthodoxy and the historic Church record, instead of teachings designed to give itching ears what they want to hear. Start with the 1599 Geneva version of Romans.



report abuse
 

Martin Luther

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:08 am


Esto peccator, et pecca fortiter; sed fortius crede et gaude in Christo, qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi. Peccandum est quam diu sic sumus; vita haec non est habitatio justitiae. Be a sinner and sin strongly; but yet more strongly believe and rejoice in Christ, who is the conqueror of sin, death and the world. So long as we are as we are, there must be sinning; this life is not the dwelling place of righteousness.



report abuse
 

Amazon

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:08 am


Wonderful thoughts to remember each day! Thanks for the inspiration.



report abuse
 

Dan Morehead

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:32 am


Thanks for sharing this. ============= On the blogroll, you have Wess Daniel’s Blog ‘Gathering In Light’ wrongly titled. Also, I’d be happy if you would include mine. To all my friends at sojo, keep up the good work.



report abuse
 

Mike Hayes

posted May 3, 2007 at 12:28 pm


Great advice to new graduates, Joy! There is wonderful wisdom in the sayings attributed to native Americans. I very much enjoy reading the series of historical novels by the husband and wife team of archeologists, that began with “People of the Wolf”, the story of the migration across the ice bridge from Asia to North America.



report abuse
 

Pacific231

posted May 3, 2007 at 3:04 pm


I will translate Donny’s above diatribe: AAAAAAWHOOOOOOOOO!!!! [Wolf baying at moon]



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Hmmm, how does one say ACLU, Democrat, or GLBT in Wolfese??? ;-)



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:32 pm


Don–I’m not sure what it is translated, but I assure you it is all just one word–this is not because Wolves have such limited vocabulary, but because Donny sees them all as the same thing…



report abuse
 

Donny

posted May 3, 2007 at 4:32 pm


Don, It is spelled P R O G R E S S I V E. In wolfese it is “anything goes.” The matra and doctrine of “The Left.” (I like this end of the Religious Right’s monologue. Finally the truth can be talked about.) Wolves in sheep’s clothing is the perfect metaphor and prophetic uttering about what we now call Liberal and Progressive ideology (and theology). Anti-God Secular Humanism through and through. Sojouners, Christian Alliance for Progress and Soulforce (et al Liberal orgs 1 to hundreds) are just the same old enemies of the Church packaged in fluffy 21st century frill. Notic that John Spong is once again portrayed as a Christian, with any substance at all. (Why do authentic Evangelicals worry so about these kinds of people?) If God has willed their walk to perdition, we should just step aside, watch, and warn those with sound minds to not follow.



report abuse
 

Ngchen

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm


FYI, the left is not a single monolith. Sure, there are heretics like Spong and such, but what part of agreeing with one piece and not another is so mysterious to you? One can care for creation, believe in certain governmental actions to directly help people (consider the Israelite rules for gleaning from the fields for government mandated welfare), AND be theologically orthodox. No contradiction there.



report abuse
 

Diane

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Just a question or two for Don. What did Jesus say about loving those with whom you do not agree? Did Jesus call people names? Aren’t we to be like Jesus? Do you think that talking down to people will bring them to Jesus? Diane



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:40 pm


Diane–was that comment for Don or Donny? there’s a big difference…



report abuse
 

MARY R.

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:21 pm


Thank you Joy. As I graduate seminary next month, and begin to seek a call to the pastorate, your words, “try and make the connections between your talents and gifts and your deepest values and beliefs,” remind me that God has prepared me for this time. His gifts and His Spirit will continue to lead me if I faithfully listen and follow.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:46 pm


Squeaky: Maybe Diane is new here and hasn’t been properly “introduced” to Donny yet. :-)



report abuse
 

Annie (UK)

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:08 pm


I doubt if even the epistles of the Apostle Paul are fundamentalist enough for Donny. Throughout history variations on Donny’s sad version of Christianity have proved a real stumbling block for many who longed to find the love, healing and forginess of God.



report abuse
 

Another nonymous

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:33 pm


The only real reason for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow worse. The corruption in things is not only the best argument for being progressive; it is also the only argument against being conservative. Who said that? Not Jim Wallis, but G. K. Chesterton, in his classic book Orthodoxy, which profoundly influenced C. S. Lewis and virtually every other Christian writer in the later 20th century. Christianity has always been progressive, indeed radical. Chesterton reminds us that this is connected with the central doctrine of original sin, which teaches us that things will continue to get worse unless we do something about them. (Something on which I think both the liberals and the neo-conservatives can agree.) Furthermore, what we do can never begin by rejecting bad doctrine, because the bad wolf is within ourselves, and that’s where we have to confront it first. Thank you, Sojourners, for reminding us of that fact.



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:33 pm


Well, it’s as I said before–I don’t think Donny has much of a handle on God’s grace, not just for others, but for himself. Donny, I truly hope and pray you stop feeding your own wolf of hatred and judgementalism, and I suspect the wolf you are feeding most is the wolf of insecurity you feel in your own life. In my experience, those who judge others are themselves incredibly insecure, and the only way they feel better about themselves is to bring others down. I hope you will be able to find true security in Christ’s love and forgiveness for you, Donny, and I hope you will be able to truly be Christ to the world. You sound much more like a Pharisee than you do Jesus, and that is not God’s plan for you. God wants people to see Jesus in your face and in your words. Give in to His love and compassion for you so that you can truly have His compassion and love for others. Imagine what it would be like to let go of all that bitterness? May you allow Christ to truly set you free.



report abuse
 

canuckelhead

posted May 4, 2007 at 5:43 am


“Just a question or two for Don. What did Jesus say about loving those with whom you do not agree? Did Jesus call people names? Aren’t we to be like Jesus? Do you think that talking down to people will bring them to Jesus?” Diane Diane | 05.03.07 – 12:43 pm | #Yes, Diane, Jesus called people names – specifically the self-righteous = “white-washed sepulchres” and “dead man’s bones” come immediately to mind; does your last question insinuate that Donny needs to be brought to Jesus? if so, you are very perceptive!



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 4, 2007 at 5:47 am


Having said that, I nevertheless do like your idea of burning Don at the stake. It’s been a good while since we had a good ol’ heretic torching in North American Christendom.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 2:03 pm


If you do that, please use dry, seasoned wood for the fire. It burns faster and hotter; thus, it will be over more quickly. Thanks,



report abuse
 

curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:09 pm


This speech, though powerful and eloquent, is NOT original. This story has been around (on the motivational speaker circuit) for years. I would have hoped that Joy Carroll Wallis would give credit (certainly more than “an old Chrokee Chief once said…”).



report abuse
 

bobc

posted May 4, 2007 at 9:10 pm


Here is some idea of the origigin of the parable.. http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=321024 how about the ’50′s and is on numerous websites as an example of how to deal with others.



report abuse
 

bobc

posted May 4, 2007 at 9:12 pm


It is very sloppy to not acknowledge some of the history of the story.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 10:26 pm


bobc You are right, but I’m trying to think of the last time any my own pastors gave us the source for one of the stories they told from the pulpit. Later,



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 5, 2007 at 1:57 am


“If you do that, please use dry, seasoned wood for the fire. It burns faster and hotter; thus, it will be over more quickly.” Thanks, Don | 05.04.07 – 8:08 am | #Will do, I trust you’re okay w/ dancing.



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 5, 2007 at 2:05 am


“This speech, though powerful and eloquent, is NOT original. This story has been around (on the motivational speaker circuit) for years. I would have hoped that Joy Carroll Wallis would give credit (certainly more than “an old Chrokee Chief once said…”).” curiouser and curiouser… | 05.04.07 – 10:14 am | #My initial thot exactly, c & c. Having just read Hirsi Ali’s INFIDEL -(she’s the Somalian lady (very outspoken vs. Islam) targeted by the letter stabbed into Theo Van Gogh’s chest in his brutal Nov 04 murder in Amsterdam) – I’m reminded of the similarity (in some cases identical) sayings/proverbs/stories/fables/myths that cross from one religion into another that are claimed/insinuated by the user as original w/ his/her faith, or spun to establish some strategic dogma/teaching of his/her faith



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 5, 2007 at 2:10 am


I have been meaning to pick up Ali’s book.



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 5, 2007 at 2:12 am


“You are right, but I’m trying to think of the last time any my own pastors gave us the source for one of the stories they told from the pulpit.” Later, Don | 05.04.07 – 4:31 pm | #The first senior pastor I worked with upon graduation from Bible College obtained most of his illustrative material from National Enquirer. I kid you not. It’s a practice God told me to maintain throughout my pastoral ministry, so I’ve subscribed to NE for going on 30 years now. We have six members in our church but take comfort in the knowledge that this is b/c others only want to have their ears tickled w/ malarkey from ABC, CNN, The NY Times and WMBI. The story from NE that I’m really trusting the Lord to use this Sunday in my discourse on Jonah is headlined: “Fat Swimmer Harpooned by Whalers Off Martha’s Vineyard.”



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 5, 2007 at 2:17 am


I have been meaning to pick up Ali’s book. kevin s. | I found it absolutely fascinating. Her passion for truth and justice is humbling. Apparently, she’s now at a think-tank in D.C., but functions w/ a 24/7 bodyguard(s) b/c of the outcry (and I believe ‘fatwa’) from Muslims in Amsterdam over the film she co-produced w/ Van Gogh which led to his slaying.



report abuse
 

Pingback: At 109th Goshen College Commencement, the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis encourages graduates to “dare to dream big things and don’t be afraid to take risks” | News & Events

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.