Mean Girls..Stink

Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all.

I've seen a bumper stick that says, "Mean People..." I'll just fill in the blank with stink. I laugh pretty much every time I happen upon one of those bumper stickers. That statement is as true as can be. The waters our children navigate are considerably more murky than those which flowed through the 1900s. Hannah (14) and Hayleigh (11) have been subjected to mean girl bullying. They have been told they're fat. They have had their body parts picked apart by girls and boys alike. They have been left out because they choose not to participate in certain activities. Mean people stink. Enough said.

This morning I am reading Philippians 4. This chapter contains several often quoted verses:
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Verse 6-7)
  • I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Verse 13)
  • My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Verse 19)

In other words, this section of scripture is a home run of encouragement.

Nestled amongst this positive prose is the story of two girls (Verses 2-3). I can't pronounce their names so we'll just call them Sue and Mary. Sue and Mary couldn't get along. In fact, their feud was so significant that Paul felt the need to implore the entire church at Philippi to help these women heal their relationship. Two thousand years later, girls still have difficulty getting along with each other. Turns out the prescription for their restoration lies in the verses Paul would pen next.

  • Prayer (Verses 6-7) - Praying with a thankful heart for the "mean girl" in my path replaces anxiety with peace. Peaceful hearts have a much easier time returning kindness to cruelty.
  • Power (Verse 13) - There is absolutely nothing that is impossible for God. He can even give me the words to respond in love to a jerk...or the grace to ignore said jerk.
  • Provision (Verse 19) - There is no situation God can not deliver us from. No matter how inconsiderate someone is, God stands at the ready to supply our heart with grace, compassion and mercy. He doesn't give though, if I don't ask.

Jesus, I hurt when my kids hurt. Rather than sit passively by, help me to arm my children with the tools they need to combat cruelty head on. Today I will remember that Your love for "mean people" is complete and perfect. It is Your heart's desire that soon each one would be counted among Your very own. Help me respond to the "Marys and Sues" I encounter with kindness, grace and love.

1 comment:

  1. Good work Shannon, I couldn't agree more with you. Isn't it amazing just how mean girls can be to other girls? I can still remember dealing with that when I was Hannah and Hayleigh's ages. I hope they know they are treasures!


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