The Lion, the Leopard and the Hyena

This story comes from an African friend.

One day the lion, the leopard and the hyena hunted together. All day long they killed hapless animals that crossed their path and at the end of the day, a small mountain of prey lay dead before them.

“So, how are we going to divide the spoils?” the lion asked his partners. The leopard spoke first. “You sir, are the king of beasts. You choose first and take one third of the bounty. I go next and take a third, then the hyena can have what’s left.”

With that the lion roared and jumped on the leopard. He tore him, stomped on him and finally flung him against a giant bao bao tree. The leopard slid down to the ground and lay senseless in a bloody heap.

“Now,” the lion said turning to the hyena who stood wide-eyed and transfixed, “how do you think we should divide the spoils?”

“Well,” the hyena began uncertainly, “you are the king of beasts and you should have the first third.” The lion’s eyebrow went up (do lions have eyebrows?) “And your wife is a queen,” the hyena hastily added, “so she should also have a third.”

“And your son, he’s a prince, so he should also have the last third.”

The lion smiled a kingly smile and said to the hyena. “That is correct. Who taught you this great wisdom, O hyena?”

“That fellow over there,” said the hyena nodding to the hapless leopard still unconscious against the tree.

Learning from other people’s errors helps us avoid pain.

God’s Spirit put Israel’s experience in the desert in His Word so that we could learn not to do the same stupid things they did. (1 Corinthians 10:6,11). So, what can we learn from them?

We learn to control …

  • Our “want life.” 10:6
  • Our worship life. 10:7
  • Our sex life. 10:8
  • Our heart life 10:9 (Numbers 21:5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water, and we loathe this light (contemptible, unsubstantial) manna.(AMP)
  • Our thought life. 10:10

“But I can’t quit grumbling and criticizing.”

“That thing is too important in my life.”

“I’m obsessed with pornography.”

“That person has me hooked.”

You better do it right my friend. Look at Israel.

“But how?” you wail.

“… we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” (The Message)

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it..” (1 Cor. 10:12, 13, NIV)

You can do it by the power the Lord gives to those who ask Him for help.

And if you’re tempted to fall … just look at that leopard next to that tree over there.


“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.” (1 Cor. 10:6-10, NIV)

Think About It—
“Another common misconception: You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don’t know what you should do next. Contrast that with learning from your successes. Success gives you real ammunition. When something succeeds, you know what worked—and you can do it again. And the next time, you’ll probably do it even better.” David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried “Rework” (New York: Crown Business, 2010)

Do you agree with this or not?

Illustration: Dreamstime: Deniscristo

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