Josh Shipp – Free Your Tiger

In this incredible motivational message, Josh Shipp recounts a bizarre story about a young man and his strange relationship with a 500 pound Bengal tiger.


Strange sounds. There were strange smells. There was weird activity. Police officers in New York City kept getting a lot of phone calls about this gentleman named Antoine Yates. Two police officers, they get up to the apartment door. They hear a very peculiar sound. The sound is just strange enough that they decide we’re not going to immediately enter.

They decide, all right, here’s what we can do. We’re going to cut a small hole in Antoine Yates’ front door to see what’s going on. And then they look through that front door, through that very small hole, and that is when they see it. A fully grown, five freaking hundred pound Bengal tiger. The police officers obviously are freaking out. They’re like I don’t know what’s going on here. What can we do? They get this plan together. They go. I believe the guy’s name was Officer McDuffy. He has the privilege of sort of tranquilizing this 500 pound tiger. It goes well. They come in, get the tiger, and take the tiger to a zoo.

Now Antoine Yates was living with a 500 pound Bengal tiger for quite some time, and he thought that it was completely normal. But this is exactly my point. Because he was entirely blind to how dangerous this tiger was, because it had been with him for so long, and at first it’s not a big deal and at first it’s not that dangerous and at first it’s just a cute little fluffy pet that grows into something very dangerous and very obstructive to his life.

And for all of us, it is very likely that all of us in this room, we have something in our life that we have made peace with, that we have no business making peace with. These personal dysfunctions that we all have come running at me, charging at me, snapping at me like a 500 pound Bengal tiger.

For you, I want you to think about what is your tiger? What is your tiger? What is some area of your life where you’ve invited something into your life? You’ve become so tolerant of something in your life that honestly has no business being a part of your life. It’s that there’s some kind of dysfunction in me, perhaps in you, that’s stopping you from moving forward with this.

A mentor of mine, Craig Groeschel, he said this. He said the pathway to your greatest potential is straight through your greatest fear. The question is not do you have some tiger that you’ve made peace with you that’s going to mess you up. It’s will you have the courage, will you have the audacity, are you willing to humiliate yourself to a handful of people and say look, I realize I’m terrible at this. I got to get some help. I gotta get support. I got to get some better structures in my life. We all have got a tiger we need to deal with.