What is a "mean girl"? Is it the girl on the school playground who treats others badly by using unkind words, manipulation or is physically rough if she doesn't get her way? Remember how she seemed to plow through everything and everyone to get her way? Is it the same girl who is so accustomed to getting her own way that all through life, she intimidates others, puts herself first at whatever cost, has no regard for other people's feelings, cuts sharply with her words and charges boldly ahead to the top?
Questions to consider:
- What do we do when we come across a mean girl?
- As a Titus 2 woman, how can we raise our daughters to not be a mean girl?
- Looking back, can you remember a time that you were a victim of a mean girl... how did you overcome?
- Looking back, can you remember a time that you WERE a mean girl... what changed you?
All through my life, "mean girls" have scared me! I am very shy and quiet by nature and if I encounter a brash or bold girl, I instinctively curl up inside and retreat!
Although I only have sons and very little experience with training girls, it is important to me to impart training to think of other's feelings. Training ourselves and children to think of others covers a huge amount of situations in the future. Thinking of how our words, actions and attitudes come out and how will the other person feel before these things come out can be a lifelong challenge, but one that will mark our lives with graciousness and enable us to treat others with love.
"Mean girls" often are sharp in their words. These words can cut deeply. If it is a practice to say a kind or positive word, that often softens and soothes others. "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 Mean girls probably have deep insecurities and deep issues that they are dealing with. If we really take a hard look beyond the tough exterior, we may get a glimpse of some of their pain, if we can listen for the pleas for help through the sharp words we may can hear their desire to be heard and loved. If we search for common ground we can share and extend grace to them. Our ultimate desire for others - good or bad should be to direct them to our Lord. He alone can search the hearts and make the changes that need to be made. His love can change the hardest heart and transform a stony, cold heart into a heart that is filled with the likeness of Christ. I love how II Corinthians 5:17 tells of God's transforming power: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
Although I don't consider myself a "mean girl", there have certainly been times when I have exhibited the characteristics of a mean girl. Selfishness, bad attitudes, sharp words and prideful motives have and still do pop up occasionally. But I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides me and when these things do appear, God's grace is received in my heart and allows me to start afresh and anew. God's grace forgives me when I fail and allows each of us to forgive others and show His love when they are mean.
The best part of grace is that it is to be shared. Grace is what God gives us when we did not deserve it. Grace can flow out of our hearts and enable us to go beyond that first reaction of shunning or reacting sharply to "mean girls" and to go the extra mile to share with them God's kindness and love.
I John 4:12 ~ No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.