First, let’s not miss the point. Paul the Apostle recognized he had a problem. Not doing good when he wanted to do good, and doing bad when he didn’t want to do bad – Romans 7:15-16.
And for me, trying not to do bad is like trying to forget something. It’s impossible. So that is why Paul instructed Timothy (1 Tim 6:11) to flee from wrong and run to good hings and think about good things. Every human has some understanding of good and evil, but every human has two enemies: a fallen nature bent towards sin and the devil and his legion.
But when a human becomes a new creature in Christ, the holy spirit indwells and protects from the devil and grace overcomes the fallen nature. The fact that we sin even after we are saved (and even when we don’t want to) is a gift. It keeps us humble and reminds us that we don’t earn a ticket to be with the King in Heaven, the King presented it to us and we just accepted it.
Here’s the two dogs illustration – that has been attributed to Cherokee legend but probably is more accurately attributed to a 1978 sermon by Billy Graham in which he used a figurative story about an Eskimo and his two dogs. (See Check the tag on that “Indian” Story and The history of the “two wolves/two dogs” story)
From the Billy Graham illustration came iterations. The basic story goes: “Inside you are two dogs. One is evil, the other is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. Which one wins? Whichever one you feed the most.”
Back to the original source – The Bible and Paul’s teachings. Focus on good and flee from evil. Another way to look at it is that we should flood out evil with good thoughts, good habits, good distractions, all in the power of Christ that lives in us.
If you want to read about a great Native American medicine man who became a great follower of Jesus Christ – Read about Black Elk – his story is used in my book Malevolent Tide as one character tries to lead another towards Christ.
Thanks and God Bless,