Last Friday night, we had a ladies night at my house. We discussed life in Girl World, and the place it has (or not) in God’s World. It was colorful, honest, and heartwarming as ladies from young teens, a whole bunch of 20somethings, some of us not so 20somethings, shared experiences of their life in Girl World.
Girl World is a place every human being of the female persuasion has dealt with and been effected by. Some are the effecter and some are the ones receiving the effect. The term “Girl World” is a misnomer as it implies a certain age group. However, most women continue the same behavior patterns, into adulthood.
Girl World definition (mine) – The rules of engagement, classification and social hierarchy of other girls/women.
The infamous movie “Mean Girls” just celebrated its 10 year anniversary. It was based on a book called “Queen Bees and Wannabees”, which was a serious look at the issues of girl on girl bullying, intimidation, cliques, and social maneuvering.
On Friday night, as I highlighted a number of the concerns highlighted in the book, the conversation got very lively and colorful as everyone described their experiences in Girl World. Even many of the older women working in the corporate world acknowledged that these tactics are alive and well.
My point in bringing this topic up for discussion was to put it into the perspective of the Word of God. Does “Girl World” politics and tactics have any place in “God’s World”? When I say “God’s World”, I’m not only referring to the church, but our lives outside of the church out in the “world”. Does it have any place in the life of a believer? The answer is no. Does is still go on? Even in church? The answer is YES.
Here is an excerpt from another Christian writer that told of past experience in church:
“We followed her into the classroom. Two of us. One of her. She needed to know that she was wrong, that she had made a mistake and the two of us had been voted the group representatives to tell her so. There was no yelling or shoving or violence. Just words. Venom-laced words, warning her to never do or say that again.
That was the last time she came to our church.
It makes me feel sick, the fact that I have mean girl memories. It reminds me of the actual truth – insecurities ruled my life and others suffered at the hands (mouth?) of my pain. I needed other people’s approval to even attempt to like myself and I was pretty willing to hurt others if that meant I was liked.”
It’s sad, but how many girls and women have been hurt in church, a place that is supposed to be a safe place, a place that is supposed to be different from what they experience out in the world? Far too many, I am quite sure.
This account highlighted the biggest reason that this occurs, insecurities. Insecurities are a perceived inadequacy in some area. When insecurities are ruling your life, your actions and behavior are usually an overcompensation to hide the perceived inadequacy.
At the root of Girl World behavior though is the nastiness of our flesh. Everyone has it, but we must choose to live by our new nature, and live by the Spirit’s leading. Galatians 5:19-26 is a great passage highlighting what our sin nature looks like, and what it looks like to live life by the Spirit. Here is that passage in the New Living Translation:
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
When we are living our lives by the Holy Spirit leading and empowering us, we will do the opposite of Girl World behavior. We will celebrate and encourage each other. We will be sensitive to each other, and truly learn to love. We must determine to leave Girl World for good, and live out our walk in God’s World.