The 2004 movie Mean Girls took place in a high school and centered on a group of popular girls called The Plastics. They were a cruel clique of the prettiest and most popular girls, mocking and ostracizing others. But that’s what happens in high school, right?
I assumed as women grew and matured that the “mean girls” and the “plastic ways” would wear away. Especially in Christian circles. What happens when they don’t?
I have seen women be mean and plastic. At the same time, my guess is these same women are wounded and covering up their pain.
Then there are women that are too nice. You know the type, you ask her how she is and she will always say “fine.” What are they covering?
As I have gone along the journey of life, I have found times where I isolate from women. I have seen negative community and sometimes it’s just easier to choose to stay home and stare at Facebook. We were made for relationship so we must guard against forsaking it.
Can you tell if your community is genuine, or are they plastic? Here’s some things to look out for:
If I had a dime for every time I compared myself to another woman, I’d have a celebrity style closet to hold all my new shoes.
Better with her kids.
She makes crafts from Pinterest.
The list goes on.
The truth is we should celebrate what is unique about us. We are truly one of a kind. We were given gifts from the Creator of the universe. Think about that. If He wanted you to be a singer, He would have made you one. Let’s use the gifts we have been given and celebrate our differences. Together we can be unstoppable.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. Romans 13:6
We talk about each other and even cover it as a prayer concern. We even make a point to say, “I shouldn’t tell you this, but…” I’ve done it. I bet you have too. I feel better about myself when other people don’t have it all together. It’s ugly but it’s true.
Let’s take our concerns for each other to the Lord. If we need to have a hard conversation, let’s have it with the person directly. Let’s be truth tellers armed with grace. We don’t need to talk about other women to feel superior. Let’s not let gossip come between us.
A dishonest (wo)man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28
We judge each other’s choices and motives. We think “we wouldn’t do it that way or say it that way.” We feel the need to look at other women’s choices and speak into them. You know how it goes.
Why is she getting married so young?
Why does she homeschool?
Why is she waiting so long to have kids?
Why does she support that cause?
Why does she dress like that?
Let’s instead celebrate when other women are obeying what the Lord has asked of them. It may be different from what He would ask of us, and that’s okay.
These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgment is not good. Proverbs 24:23
We don’t just listen sometimes. We control and fix. We are so quick to give solutions that we miss just being with someone. We don’t need to solve it. She doesn’t need to hear what you would do or even about the latest book you have read. There will be time to share your story but right now is not the time. You can tell her that later. Just listen. Let’s practice the ministry of presence.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Romans 12:15
The church is not immune to the “selfie” culture. Instead of being authentic with each other, we manage what other women think of us. We want to fit in. It’s not only men who compete. We do it all the time. We jockey for praise, stature, and grow our identity in ‘winning’ at work, ministry and motherhood.
Let’s not compete, let’s win together. Let’s strive for authenticity. Let’s be comfortable in our own skin.
Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant Galatians 1:10
Mean girls still exist but so does the power of authentic community. Let’s strive to create places of genuine connection, care, and grace. Negativity can be stopped if we allow the power of the Spirit to live in us. Women loving other women well. Nothing plastic about that.
What are some of the signs of a great community? Does yours have it?
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