Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina George. (You should have known from the title that my goal would be to insert as many Mean Girls quotes as possible into this blog.)
Ok, now raise your hand if you have ever been Regina George and victimized a friend. Were you hesitant to raise your hand? If so, are you being entirely honest?
I sat on the DBU shuttle last week and was shocked when the group of girls behind me began to tear their friend apart as soon as the shuttle doors closed behind her. It happens so quickly. Our flesh is so prone to it. She had barely stepped off the tiny DBU bus and they began trashing everything from the clothes she had on to the way she washed her dishes. I listened to them pick apart her boyfriend and her highlights….any quality that was less than perfect was fair game. I was appalled by the very public and very audible gossip these girls were engaging in…It’s a Christian campus, after all— shouldn’t your sin be a little less blatant?
“Oh Hallie, you used to be like them. You still are.” The Holy Spirit whispered those words to me, and I felt my pride swell up and my flesh reject the accusation.
“Of course I’m nothing like those girls. I would never tear my friends apart like that.”
To be honest though, I knew I was lying to myself.
I used to be a “plastic.” I used to be the girl that wouldn’t let someone sit with her because she wasn’t wearing pink on a Wednesday. I used to be the girl who tore everyone around her down and who spread rumors about anyone who threatened to usurp her social status. I used to connive and scheme and lie just to work my way to the top of the social ladder. I used to be the girl who was so focused on becoming “perfect” that I spent hours obsessing over my hair and makeup. I used to be broken, desperate, and lost.
Now that I’ve come to really know the Lord, I see how sneaky Satan is. As Christian women, we tend to hide our gossip behind false concern or “prayer requests.” You know the old, “I think we should pray for so-and-so because her husband left her for his secretary” kind of prayer requests? We justify our gossip because we’re hiding behind our “just making sure you heard about’s” and “just so you can be praying’s.”
The truth of the matter is, for me, it didn’t take throwing up all over Aaron Samuels or breaking apart a Spring Fling plastic tiara to realize that the way I was acting was wrong. Honestly, it just took a simple verse: “The tongue holds the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” (Proverbs 18:20)
Why do you think Mean Girls has become so popular? It’s because it’s relatable. A girl on the sharp end of the “tongue as a sword” understands because she’s been there. Gossip in middle school about that first crush, or in high school about the girl who showed up in sweatpants to a party (because they were the only thing that fit her), or in college about why someone hasn’t been in class, or in a career about why she had that meeting with the boss—it hurts. Gossip hurts. Words have the power of life and death.
Regina George and her posse of plastics chose to give words the power of death. But you can choose to give them the power of life. You can use them to lead your sisters to the throne of God, or you can use them to trample the people around you in your attempt to be better.
If you fully understood the power of your words to speak death, would the conversation that starts when a friend gets off the shuttle or steps away from the table be different? If you understood the power of your words to speak life, would your social life and your prayer life look different?
What are you using your words for?