IDENTITY AND LION KING

A sabbatical will slow me down a bit on my blog output, but first a word from a favorite movie!
Significant people in our lives, and mainly parents, build an identity in us, or by indifference or abuse give us a confused identity. Simba knew who he was because he felt valued rather than being ignored. His father, Mufasa, gave him truth and love, which built an identity and produced a destiny. He knew he was called to be the Lion King.

Until Scar tampered with his identity. Jesus said that Satan comes “to lie, kill and destroy.” Sounds like Scar. He was responsible for the death of Mufasa, but he convinced Simba that he killed him, and guilt and shame replaced joy and self-confidence. Scar made Simba believe that he would be rejected if he went home. His sense of value plummeted, skewing his identity and clouding his destiny. He ran from his chosen purpose and became irresponsible. He learned to eat grub in the forest when rescued by Timon and Pumba, and lions don’t eat grub. They taught him to live for pleasure. Hakuna matata.

When Nala found him, she lovingly tried to call him back to his real identity and destiny. Like a victim, he said, “You don’t understand. I can’t go back.” When life is clouded over by guilt and shame, the prospect of walking into a positive destiny looks daunting.

Rafiki came to an orphaned Simba and convinced him that he had to go back. Rather than live in the past, he called him to his future. One of his best lines: “The past is past.” Victims live with “if onlys” rather than with “what ifs.” They get stuck in passivity and victimization, and if you don’t support them, they check you off their list of supporters. Simba heard his father say to him, “Remember who you are.” That was a call to his true identity, which then gave him the authority to walk into his destiny.

Simba was finally able to say, “I’m going back.” That means confronting shame, lies, false identities, irresponsibility, and passivity. It causes fear to mount up within us. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the willingness to do what we must, regardless. Fear prevents many people was walking toward their God-appointed purpose. It requires taking some risks, and they choose the mediocre life of pleasure to fulfilling their destiny. As one poet said, “Most people die with the music still inside of them,” and Simba almost became another statistic.

When he did go back, he had to confront Scar, just as David confronted the giants in his life. Fear keeps us from facing those things that stand in the way of our destiny. We must take God-honoring risks and go for it.

Scar made one last effort to neutralize a re-fired Simba by reminding him of his past. This time Simba was strong enough not to buy into the lies. Perception is reality. We are who we think we are. What Mufasa had built into Simba was recovered, and he was able to overcome his irresponsibility. The family was reunited when the true source of the death was uncovered. Simba found support from his family, whom he now realized believed in him, allowing him to walk into his true calling as the Lion King. His authority was restored and victory was achieved. (Thanks to Bob Neumann for many insights).

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