Last week I read this letter:What I Want My Daughter to Know About the Mean Girls
And like every God-fearing woman on Earth I stood up and applauded. My daughters need to hear that. However as the week went on I realized there is so much more for me to say on the issue of "mean girls".
This post represents the hard things that I haven't really seen represented in this whole conversation about bullying and mean girls. Bear with me, not only will this be long, it is the hardest thing I have written to date.
My Dear Daughters,
It is true. At some, most likely many points in your life you will meet a mean girl. I wish I could stop it, but I can't. The best I can tell you is to show that person Christ-like grace, but I can't make that easy. What I can do is give you a good reason why you should show grace.
You will be a mean girl. At some point, probably many points in your life you will hurt another of your gender in the way only females can hurt each other. Prayerfully it will be unintentional, likely there will be times it is most definitely intentional.
You should also know that I have been a mean girl. I have gossiped, slandered, excluded, eye rolled, and belittled. Oh sweet girls I wish you knew the pain and embarrassment that just writing those words causes me. I wish I could tell you the shame I still feel for those actions wether they were decades ago or sadly days ago. Some of it I maliciously did on purpose. More recently as I grow closer to the Lord the slights I've committed are unintentional. Truthfully this hasn't come full circle for me. The day I have to wipe your tears for infractions against you that I myself committed I will feel the full weight of my actions. It will be a heavy weight. Don't let the weight be so heavy on yourself.
I pray baby girls that you would ask Jesus to always how you your heart.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
Pray for conviction and strength when you are tempted to hurt, because truthfully, it will often feel justified. That does not make it okay. Please show others mercy where you would have them show you mercy.
Which brings me to my conclusion.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Act Justly. Be bold. Do not just stand up for what's right for yourself. Stand up when you see meaness to others. Refuse to listen to gossip. Refuse to exclude. Reach out to those who have been hurt to help them heal, even if you think they deserved it.
Love Mercy. Love mercy because you want to be shown mercy. Yes, she did this or said that. Show her mercy. You are not perfect either. You, too are a sinner. Too easily the bullied can turn into the bully. Being a victim does not give you the right to leave a wake of victims in your path. Hurt people are the people that hurt other people. Remember that when a mean girl crosses your path. The world will tell you to fight back, to stand your ground. I tell you and the Bible tells you that Grace can heal. Show her mercy lest you turn into her.
Walk Humbly with your God. Press into God. Know Jesus well an strive to be like Him. As you do that your self importance and any perceived right you have to slight someone else will start to fade. You will learn at some point that what you thought you knew and acted on wasn't the whole truth, it will be a hard lesson learned. Learning humility is a lifelong battle and it is hard. Primarily because to learn humility you must be humbled. Nothing is more humbling than having to apologize for being wrong, for hurting someone. Don't be afraid to face the person you were mean to, you will be better for asking forgiveness. Again, that's where the healing is, whether they choose to forgive or not. Humble yourself before God and man and you will find not only that you are less mean, but that people are less able to scathe you with their meanness.
*I dedicate this post to anyone who has ever been hurt by me. I dedicate it to their mother who wiped their tears and to their daughters who will learn from it. Please know I'm standing before you, begging your forgiveness.