Posted by: bellissimanh | March 10, 2009

Which Dog are You Feeding?

We’ve been studying Titus in Sunday School and I was looking at this passage in particular today, in preparation for tomorrow’s class…

“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15)

It’s amazing how much you learn when you take a verse apart word for word, but I won’t give it all to you here, I promise. 😉

The word for pure is “katharos”, and it’s a cleansing of the mind and emotions. It has the connotation of being free from admixture and adulteration. If you remember my post about the Refiner’s Fire, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was intrigued to read that.

This scripture has been twisted often to legitimize sin, but that was not its intent. Paul is basically saying the same thing Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:

“Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.” (Matthew 23:26)

For many in Jesus’ day, an emphasis on ceremonial cleansing had displaced true worship. They had become so obsessed with “getting it right”, even adding their own rules and regulations (and sadly, this is still relevant to many of our churches today), that their hearts were darkened to the Truth. A defiled conscience doesn’t convict the way it should normally, and it’s one step closer to the “seared” conscience Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 4:2.

The story is told of an old indian chief who came to trust in Christ as his Savior. The missionary who led him to the Lord returned several years later and asked, “So, chief… how is your spiritual walk? Are you experiencing victory over the enemy?”

The chief responded, “There are two dogs inside me… a good dog, and a bad dog. They are constantly fighting with each other.”

“Which dog wins?” the missionary asked.

To this, the wise old chief said, “Whichever one I feed the most.”

What a great picture of our spiritual lives! There is a battle raging for our minds. Satan would love to fill them with his propaganda… and yet we have a choice! We can feed our minds with the holy Word of God, and have the mind of Christ!

Let me leave you with these words, courtesy of Martin Luther:

“My conscience is captive to the Word of God.”




  1. Titus 1:15 is a powerful verse. It made me pause.

  2. Francis Frangipane, in his book THE THREE BATTLEFIELDS, writes, “Victory begins with the name of Jesus on your lips, but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in your heart.” By nurturing the nature of Jesus in our heart, then everything we do, or think of doing, is pure. Thanks for the post.



  3. Yes, Peter… it is!

    Jim, I love that quote! Gonna have to head to the library now. 😉

  4. I love me some Martin Luther! But I’m ashamed of the which dog I feed most often….


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