We Are All Lions!
One day my toddler daughter was fussing. She was unhappy about something and she began to complain. She wanted me to change my mind and do what she wanted or needed in that moment. A relative, who noticed this pattern in my daughter, looked as us both and said, “She is a lion. I feel sorry for you. My daughter was a lion.” My relative’s statement was to let me know that raising a lion would be tough for me. That lions required extra care because they are both stubborn, strong and sometimes too resourceful for their own good.
My relative’s comments alarmed me. But then I had felt comforted by them as years went on because I discovered something wonderful. I was a lion too. I do not know how many of you have heard of personality tests, but there is one that gives people the characteristics of certain animals. The animals are lion, otter, beaver and golden retriever. I had lived most of my life like a golden retriever. I can’t say I was happy with that, I just thought that was what I had to do survive growing up and what it meant to be an adult. A golden retriever has lovely characteristics: calm, easy going, dependable, quiet and humorous (weirdblog wordpress website, 2015). But I was no retriever! I had forced myself to hide my inner roar. But once I realized my inner lion, my life began to change – so I guess there is a lot to say about those who are true to themselves and work being the person God intends them to be. There is a famous Shakespearean quote from Hamlet, “To thine own self be true,” that applies here. Lions are strong-willed, independent, decisive, leaders, and practical. We lions have some crappy characteristics too: domineering, unforgiving, cold and my least favorite – unemotional self-sufficient (weirdblog, 2015). Ouch! It is no coincidence that when I could embrace the good and bad about myself that I could better navigate through life. Why be an otter, when you are meant to be a beaver? Do you, girlfriend, do you!
So, I write this message not to give you a lesson on psychology, but to point out that we all have different personality traits, yet God uses this diversity for his glory. And there is something else I need to point out: when it comes to our faith walk – we are all lions! God will equip an undisciplined otter to get that sermon written or to change the music for Sunday service. He teaches the cold lion the importance of warmth and reaching out to people not in your strength, but in your weakness. The quiet golden retriever learns to speak loudly like a lion when they see injustice in their neighborhoods or churches. And the negative, self-centered beaver becomes positive when sharing the gospel and concerned about the poor and hurting in their communities. It is no wonder we can be like lions in God’s kingdom, we are, followers of Christ Jesus, the original lion king.
This week, may you think about how God has equipped you to do amazing things – things you never would have thought you could do – but were able to do through the strength, love and mercy of Christ. Have a wonderfully blessed day.
For more information about the animal personality test, check out this link: https://weirdblog.wordpress.com/2007/02/22/personality-types-lion-beaver-otter-and-golden-retriever/