No. 43

It is often said that an honest confession is good for the soul. I certainly hope this is true, because here at the beginning of my column today, I want to confess that I have a battle going on inside of me. The battle I'm referring to is the battle between my two natures. On the one hand, I have a "Divine" nature that tells me I should always seek to do good and seek after righteousness, and on the other hand I have a "sinful" nature that tells me it's okay to be involved in various activities that are evil or bad. In view of the crime problems we have in America, the tragic shootings in our nation’s schools, the alcohol and substance abuse, gambling addiction and the apparent lack of love and compassion that many people have for others, this may be something worth thinking about.
Before I continue, it might be helpful to define or discuss the terms "Divine" and "sinful" nature to make sure we are speaking the same language. The word "Divine" means supremely good, as in Godly, and the word "sinful" means to commit a sinful act or to do wrong. In other words, when someone commits a "sin" they have a broken relationship with God.
At one time or another, you have probably heard this expression: "It was almost 'second nature' for some person to do this or that." The reason this statement is true is because this person has performed the action so long and so often they no longer have to consciously stop and think about it. In other words, the action has become a habit and is an ingrained part of their nature.
If you have ever wondered why the habitual way of thinking for one person has developed a 'second nature' of doing what is right, while anther has developed a 'second nature' of doing what is wrong, I believe this illustration will shed some light on this process. The constant battle that is going on inside of every person could be compared to two dogs fighting. For the sake of example, let's say one dog represents good and the other dog represents evil. If you would like to know which dog is winning, it's the dog we feed the most. You'll never see a dog win a fight (except in self-defense), that has its ribs sticking out and is "poor" as a rail, because it hasn't had anything to eat in a long, long time.
As human beings, we need to understand that in the battle of our two natures, we are the ones doing the feeding. Just as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we will have a "Divine" nature or a "sinful" nature depending on the kind of food that we permit to enter our minds and hearts. Regardless of what some people would have us believe, it does make a difference in what kind of television programs we watch, the movies we see and the books and other literature we read. In simple layman's terms, when we permit filthy, crude and evil thoughts to enter our mind on a regular basis, we are feeding the wrong dog.
Again, whether we realize it or not, our nature has a tremendous impact on our daily lives. As the English philosopher John Stuart Mill once said, “Our nature is the sum of all phenomena, together with the causes which produce them: including not only all that happens, but all that is capable of happening.” Just as another human being, if you have never thought about this, I want to encourage you to be very selective in which dog you are feeding. In terms of our society and our culture, we need to get back to respect for others and honesty and decency in everything we do. We will all feel better about ourselves. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)