Being the blessed mom with two girls of my own, and being a girl myself, I have witnessed more than the average share of mean girl shenanigans. Unfortunately, I have been on both sides of the mean girl coin. I was constantly navigating the murky waters of female adolescent friendships. One day everything is coming up roses. The next day someone is mad for something as simple as you not wearing pink on Wednesdays or something more complex like speaking to someone who has been formally removed from the friend circle.
It is so very stressful living the mean girl life, and especially being the victim of a mean girl.
When my oldest was approaching her mischievous middle school years it became an epidemic. Every single day there were tales from the halls of the school house that had me so deeply disturbed for the morale of the girls and their future. During these years, I was blessed with an older mom friend who had two older girls and she was constantly calming me down and letting me know it would be okay. She even told me that our girls will survive this with minimal input from moms.
I know God put her in my life. Her counsel and hands off approach always left me with peace and wisdom. After my oldest daughter I really put things in perspective as a mother.
Not at all saying that it is not heartbreaking when your daughter is left out, bullied, made fun of or uninvited, because it is. It rips your heart into a million shreds when this happens. As mothers we feel everything our children are going through. We have all been there and know the isolating and painful feelings it can cause.
Unfortunately, it is even more disheartening when the “Mean Girl” mentality continues into adulthood and spills over to the workplace, the church, the grocery store or even the ball field. This one is a bit harder to explain to my daughters.
I often wish that I could tell them that the mean girl stage of life stops in childhood. But, it doesn’t. As the world is always turning there will be mean girls who try to steal your joy and your peace. There is always someone trying to make you feel less than what God created you to be. There is always someone who laughs and makes light of your life’s misfortunes.
It is sad, but the world has an unlimited supply of people who do not mind bringing you down a peg or two, whether you need it or not.
One of the biggest revelations in my life came when I realized that the way people treat you is a reflection of them, their character and lack of Jesus in their life. It has nothing to do with you as a person.
The Bible is very clear when it talks about encouraging others. I have recently saturated my life with the wisdom of Proverbs. No where does it say that it is permissible to make others feel like they don’t belong, or make people feel like they are not good enough. Frankly speaking, it only speaks of building people up, putting yourself last and others first as well as turning the other cheek. It also speaks of walking two miles with a friend even though they only ask you to walk one mile.
We are faced with so many choices in our daily lives. We can live as a Christ-like example, accepting people as they are, and winning more people for the Kingdom of God. Or, we can live our lives as cautionary tales. No one wants to be the cautionary tale in a story riddled with meanness, jealousy, selfishness and pride. Our breaths that are breathed on this earth are very limited. Life is too short to treat others poorly.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others.”
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”