Just as adolescents can be mean girls, grown-ups can turn into mean women who subtly—or not so subtly—undermine, judge, and criticize the choices of other women they worship next to on Sunday mornings.Nancy Beach
I’ve recently been mistreated by a mean girl and it was so unbearable that it nearly drove me away from a church. Though I’m transparent on the blog, you’d be surprised to know that I struggle with sharing my feelings with the people in my life. However, one day I decided to tell a “friend” that they’ve hurt me in hopes to save a “friendship”. But instead of responding with love, this person completely dissed my emotions, accused me of not praying enough and changed up on me.
It was so bad that it had me, a 30 year old woman reflect on the bullying I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Whether done in person or virtually, the majority have been at the hand of Christian women.
Mean girls and cliques within today’s church are prevalent. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve started to normalize such behaviors even those that the Bible’s deemed to be sin like gossip. But I say NO MORE it’s time we put an end to this. The church is supposed to be our one safe haven and if we don’t feel welcomed there, where will we?
Now, I’m not going to act like I’ve only been a punching bag because I’ve thrown some punches as the mean girl as well. So, I firsthand know that mean girl behavior is like a contagious virus that infects anything in it’s path. And when left untreated in the body of Christ the side effects of conceitedness, entitlement, pride, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, division and unwarranted isolation can ultimately lead to spiritual death. You see, why I’m saying death to the mean girls in the church? These antics is tearing us apart from the inside out.
The bible says a house divided can not stand, and if we can’t stand as a church because we’re not standing up to this infectious disease, we won’t be effective in this world.
A mean girl in the church acts a bit differently than the mean girls of the world. The sanctified bullies won’t take your lunch money, but they will take your peace if you’re not ready for them. They tend to manipulate scripture to bring you down and don’t ever operate with the 1 Corinthians 13 love. Mean girls be the main one who want to know all your business and not genuinely try to uplift you. They’ll gather intel to use it against you.
Mean girls are birthed through pain and disconnect from Christ. The very people who are trying to bring you down are the same ones who are living in their own personal hell. Misery loves company.
But that doesn’t excuse bullying/ mean girl behavior. THIS NEEDS TO STOP
Sadly, a lot of us don’t even realize when we’re being mean girls but I’m here to help you recognize any mean girl spirit in you so that you can defeat it and bear more fruit. The bible says that you can recognize His children by the fruit they produce. What kind of fruit are you producing?
I really want you to honestly answer these questions for yourself.
Are you a mean girl in the church?
- Do you spend any extended time gossiping about someone in The Body and then attempt to excuse your antics by gaining knowledge so that you know what to pray for?
- Do you only hang around a certain group of people in the church and not take the time to get to know your other church family?
- Do you feel like you’re better than people because you may be more mature in Christ then they are?
- Do you use the bible to put others down?
- Are you hard on those who don’t look like you?
- Do people have a hard time opening up to you because they feel as though you will judge them?
- Do you smile in someone’s face and then talk about them behind their backs?
- Do you spread rumors about others?
I’m so proud of you for going through the questionnaire! There’s no shame in what you answered yes too. But the acknowledgment of your habits is the first step to killing that spirit.
How to overcome being a mean girl
Remember that you are a sinner saved by grace. Ain’t nothing in you perfect but the God you serve. Therefore rely on His perfect expression of love to love on his people. God is so patient with you, extend that grace!
James 1:19 is arguably one of my favorite verses in the bible. It’s a great reminder to be “slow to speak, slow to anger and quick to listen.” When you successfully apply those three principles to your life, it’ll be hard to be mean spirited. By being quick to listen, you give space to the Holy Spirit to speak loudly to you and guide you on how to act.
Practical Tips To Ending Mistreatment Within The Church
The Bible provides us with the proper steps to take when trying to resolve disputes with another believer. “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church (leader); and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” Matthew 18:15-17.
If you’ve been hurt by mean girls within the Church, I’m so sorry. I know what bullying can do to a person. If this is any consolation, I want you to know that you’re special and God’s prized possession. He has you alive at this time because you’re the answer to a problem and WE NEED YOU.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic below in the comments! If you’d like prayer or to privately discuss, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love you like crazy and God loves you even more!