Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mean Girls

Let's be honest, we all have a mean streak - or at least a slight mean streak. (Please say yes, please say yes.) Just when I think I wouldn't hurt a fly, I end up hurting someone inside my mind. My silent observations of people aren't always bright and flowery.

And sadly, around my husband and kids (especially on days I've-had-it-up-to-here-for-crying-out-loud), mean thoughts will actually make their way out of my mind and then... out of my mouth. I don't get mean mean, just snippy and impatient. Why can't I zip it and be like Caroline Ingalls?  

Several years ago, one of my favorite Bible study teachers talked about this very thing. She said she asks God daily for help with self control. But admitted that non-nice words still "poked through" on occasion, leaving her kids saying, "Mom, you said you were going to be nicer." 

And she'd respond with, "If you kids only knew how nice that really was - and how it really was filtered by the Holy Spirit. Because I had so much more to say!" (I sat there and did my soundless "giggle shake" for a long time over that.)

But back to just thinking mean thoughts and not voicing them... recently, I quietly "took issue" with a woman.* Nothing major. She just has a very important role in leadership with a "company," more or less, that perhaps she shouldn't have at all. A position where she deals with humanity and holds people's hearts in her hands.

And I witnessed something about her. Although she was very wise and spoke tons of God's truth - truth we're all better off knowing than not knowing - there was no love, no compassion, and no grace in her delivery. She had lots of technical knowledge about God, but no life-changing joy to show for it.

Regrettably, mean-ish thoughts began to form in my head. Not very fair of me. After all, maybe I caught her having an "off day." But I soon imagined she'd be much more useful working in the company's basement - as a troll in a dungeon of sorts, a very responsible, organized, and efficient troll - doing important research or some such activity where she isn't the "face" of the establishment.

And as days went by after seeing her in action, I kept thinking and praying, "God, what was her deal? Am I wrong in this? Am I just jealous because she wore a really cute skirt? It's just... I can't seem to think a single, cozy thought about her. Lord, help me to love this prickly, condescending woman - and to extend grace, the kind of grace I always talk and write about."

John 1:14 says Jesus not only came in truth, but "in truth and in grace." So relieved about that! Because people whose mantra is "truth, or else!" make me feel guilty and blah. On the other hand, those who only think "grace for you, grace for me, lalalala!" are way fun to be around, but soon become flaky and undependable. But God has both traits going on - at the same time!

Understanding and just - that's Jesus. Merciful and true - that's Jesus. He is for me, not against me - "mean girl" and all.

*This "woman" will never be reading my blogs. In other words, relax! She can't be any of you! :)


  1. Woo! Just when I thought you were writing about me... Thanks for the sidenote! But seriously I feel like I struggle with the mean girl in my head too! Thank goodness Jesus doesnt have those same feelings about me!

    1. Haha, "the mean girl in my head" - I think we all have one! :) Thanks for commenting :)