ROAR: Its in You (Part 1)
Self-awareness is a nebulous concept, thus, the best definition would be a storyline description.
There was a pregnant Lioness who went on hunting one fateful day. She saw a herd of sheep and ran so hard to make a meal from them. Afterwards, she gave birth and died out of exhaustion. When the remaining herd of sheep came back, they saw the motherless cub. They adopted him and the cub began to grow with the sheep community. He bleats, eats grass and acts like other members of the sheep community. The rest of the sheep would occasionally tease him for looking different. They would say, “You are so ugly and your voice sounds so weird. You cannot even bleat like us”. The cub had to endure, he had no option.
One day, an older lion saw the herd of sheep and decided to make a meal from them. While attacking them, he saw a cub running along with the sheep. Curious as to why that was so, he decided to pursue only the cub. Finally, he got the cub. The younger lion heebie-jeebies in fear and begs, “Please don’t eat me, I am just a young sheep. Please let me go!” On hearing this, the older lion growls, “Will you shut up? You are not a sheep but a lion like me”. The younger not believing the older lion continues to beg. At this point, the older lion dragged the cub to a nearby pond and asked him to look at his reflection there. Upon looking at the reflection, the young lion much to its own astonishment realized who he really is – a mighty lion, not a sheep. Feeling so exhilarated at this realization, the young lion lets out a mighty ROARRRR…. Its echo shook the jungle and frightened terribly the sheep that were hiding behind the bushes to see what will happen. They all fled. No longer would the sheep near the young lion nor insult him because he has finally realized his true nature.
That is self-awareness!
Many of us are like the younger lion in this story. We may have been brought up in a negative and limiting environment. We may have suffered abuse while young, sexually molested, influenced by bad parenting, peer pressure, immoral media influence, bad society and a terrible government system. All these could be a limiting factor for us to realize who truly we are. As a young person, you may be worried about your uncertain future, bothered about your poor educational background, poverty at home, poor health, addictions and nefarious criticisms from your peers who treat you like an outcast because they feel you are not like them. As an adult, you may have lost yourself in negative thoughts, blaming your pasts because things have gotten complicated. Your relationship is not working out and your marriage is at the verge of collapsing. There are a lot of bills to pay, your kids are starving, out of school and in bad health. You have become identified with your incapability and pitiable background. You avoid the sight of the public because you are so ashamed of yourself. No one seems to care and your trusted allies have sold you off for a penny. These make you feel irresponsible, depressed and suicidal. You now see yourself as an unfortunate herbivorous lion in the midst of sheep, moving idiotically along the road of life without self-purpose, vision and hope.
My dear, that is not who you are. Do you want to see the real you, in the midst of all those circumstances, then…
Look into the pond! Look again, Look again and again…
Who do you see?
Are you seeing a failure or a success?
Are you an abused fellow or are you seeing a champion?
Are you seeing an outcast or are you seeing apple of God’s eye?
Are you seeing a wretched sinner or a saved sinner?
Who and what do you see?
Can you not see that beautiful and handsome Imago Dei (image of God)?
From our Christian perspective, our first identity is that we are images of God (Gen 1:27). We are created in the image and likeness of God to become creative stewards of all other created things. We are created to be powerful, courageous and winners. We are not made to become like fishes in the ocean, birds of the sky and animals in the forest. We are made to be “co-Gods”. The question then is, did humanity’s fall into sin, our inadequacies and historical limitations destroy or remove the Imago Dei – Image of God from us?
No – it merely marred or disfigured it. The Imago made us different from other creatures. As the American-Dutch Reformed theologian, Louis Berkhof puts it, “the doctrine of the Image of God in man is of the greatest importance in theology, for that Image is the expression of that which is most distinctive in man and in his relation to God. The fact that man is the Image of God distinguishes him from the animal and every other creature”.
The man could not lose the Imago without ceasing to be what he has been created to be. Thus, it is because he retains it, even in distorted form, that man is redeemable and worth redeeming. God, therefore, sent his only begotten son to die in other to redeem mankind who is redeemable. With our redemption through Jesus Christ, we then are fully Imago Dei, placed higher than angels (Heb 1:4-14) and seated with Jesus in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). Realizing our true identity as Imago Dei is the basic foundation for true self-awareness that will reflect in other areas of life. We first have to look into the pond to see an Imago Dei, before we can then roar.
If you agree with me that you are an Imago Dei, then continue to read from here to see basic principles on how you can Roar.
Remember, you are a Lion who serve the Lion of the tribe of Judea.
ROAR… it’s in you!
 L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, Lulu.com, 2017, p. 206