3 Lessons on Letting Go From the Lion King

Letting Go is an Act of Survival

letting goSo, the other week, I had my ten-year-old nephew over. He’d decided that we should make popcorn and watch movies (always a good idea). The movie he chose was The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. If you haven’t seen it, it’s (of course) the sequel to the original Lion King movie. In this one, Simba and Nala have grown up, “married”, and have a daughter named Kiara. Kiara befriends Kovu, the son of Zira. Zira is basically a female version of Scar, and he’d began helping to raise Kovu before his death. No, I’m not going to take you through the entire movie, but I do have a point to make from it (y’all know Disney preaches sometimes).

Mmmkay… let’s fast forward to the end of the movie. The lionesses that were followers of Scar and now following Zira were at war with Simba, Nala, and their pride. As a fight began, Kiara and Kovu stepped in to bring the two sides together. They give a spiel about how they are all the same so they should learn to live together in peace.

As the opposing lionesses begin to realize the truth in what was said, Zira tries to convince them to continue fighting. Zira’s daughter tells her to just let it go and her response is, “I will never let it go!” A series of actions happen and Kiara and Zira go tumbling over a cliff. As Zira falls, Kiara tries to help her, but instead of accepting the help, she falls into the river and drowns to her death.

Is There a “Never” We Should All Reconsider?

I realized that we are often like Zira and refuse to change due to our own reservations and pride. We’d rather fall off that cliff than to accept that others are not against us or to take that helping hand.

That’s a dangerous place to be and it’s scary to watch. It is important that we check ourselves and where we are so that we are in a position to hear the voice of reason.

Our Playbook says in Proverbs 16:18 that “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Often, our past affects our ability to see the freedom in letting go.

Zira was so bound by the past that moving on and living peaceably didn’t seem worth it to her. Y’all, it’s a hard road when being alone and revengeful feels like the better option. But, sadly, it happens more often than any of us would like to admit. I know there have been at least a couple of times when I’d convinced myself that letting go was the weaker choice and that I should go on to prove my point. I was wrong in every one of those times.

So, What’s the Play Call?

I know letting go can seem hard to do. Especially when someone has, in your opinion, done wrong by you. But sometimes you gotta give it up, honey! Your insistence on being “right” could cost you everything. Here are a few tips to help you “let it go”:

  1. Forgive. Such a small word with such a big meaning. Sometimes the reason we can’t move on or let go is that we decide to hold on to what hurt us. You gotta forgive… them and yourself. “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 (NLT)
  2. Let go. As the saying goes, “let bygones be bygones”. Holding on to a painful past only causes more pain. Holding on to the past at all only keeps you stuck there. Now, I’m no expert and there are things that I am still working through, but I have learned to make a conscious effort to rise above. You, too, must do the same. Lot’s wife was so set on not letting go that she “looked back”. Don’t be so “salty” that you get stuck where you were. “But Lot’s wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26
  3. Accept the help. Zira could have lived, but her spite caused her to fall and drown. There may be people against you, but I guarantee that God has someone set up to help you succeed. Yep… there is somebody set up by God to help you. You called Him; He heard you; He sent them. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

We are all human and sometimes it seems easier to hold that grudge and push away what we may not recognize as being sent by God. It probably won’t be easy so I won’t discredit your feelings by saying it will be – but I admonish you to “let it go”. Don’t drown in your past.

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