Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taming the Mean Girl Inside

August 9, 2011

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Just in case I've given anyone reason to think of me as a saint . . .

Just in case you think I live by the Spirit at all times . . .

Just in case you think I'm full of sugar and spice and everything nice . . .

I'm writing to set the record straight. There's a mean girl inside of me, and yesterday—she escaped.

My day began as any other normal day. Quiet time—check. Shower accomplished and game-face (i.e. makeup) applied—check, check. Breakfast, laundry, a bit of housecleaning—check, check, check. No inclination that the mean girl in me was preparing to make a big debut.

Come late morning the girls and I headed to an eye-glasses store to replace my oldest daughter's prescription lenses. In defense of the mean girl I must explain that for some reason any time I address issues with my daughter's eyesight my emotions run high. I remember that the only reason my daughter requires eyeglasses is because of all she . . . and her late twin sister endured six years ago. I praise God that the only outstanding complication with which our daughter struggles is her eyesight; an issue which is easily resolved with prescription lenses. But it makes this mama's heart tinge with pain just the same.

(Mind you none of this serves as an excuse for what happened next.)

With our selections in hand I asked the nearest employee, who just so happened to be the store manager, for assistance. It was then that I realized I'd left a coupon for a discount off of my daughter's glasses at home. The manager kindly explained that I had to have the coupon in my sweet little hand to receive the savings.

Unfortunately, that caused the mean girl inside of me to rise.

Before I knew it the mean girl in me shoved the nice girl—the girl who had her quiet time that morning, the girl who teaches a weekly Sunday school class—to the ground, and began to wreak havoc in the eyes and hearts of those standing witness. She asked the manager if he really intended for her to drive all the way back home with three little ones in tow just to get a coupon he could find on the store website. When he insisted that was indeed the case, the mean girl tossed three pairs of sample frames back on the table and stormed out of the building with those three little darling ones in hand, only to discover that one of the sample frames she had not-so-kindly pushed aside was actually her daughter's real glasses. The mean and now embarrassed and ashamed-of-her-behavior girl had to re-enter the store, reclaim her daughter's glasses, and then flee from the store before anyone noticed the tears streaming down her oh-so-humiliated face.

Ever met that mean girl?

Of course you haven't. She only lives in me.

We try ladies, don't we? We have our quite time. We pray. We love, or at least we attempt to.

Why is it us Jesus girls still sometimes fall flat on our faces?

I dunno why. But I do know this—as His daughters God calls us to strive toward a higher standard. A standard which is not met through our own strength (obviously) but through Christ's strength in us.

God calls us to—as much as it depends on us—live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). God calls us to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). God calls us to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who hurt us (Luke 6:28). God calls us to feed those who are hungry for Him and to help those who are in trouble (Isaiah 58:10).

What's a mean girl to do?

Repent. Ask forgiveness. Receive forgiveness. And then, try again.

On my way back to the car I asked the Lord my God to forgive me. Inside the car I asked my kids to forgive me. Once I returned with the coupon in hand I asked the store clerk to forgive me. When we returned to pick up my daughter's new glasses (which were ready in a few hours!) I asked the store manager to forgive me.

When we claim to be children of God we serve as representatives of His Great Name wherever we go. May He give us the strength to bring glory and honor to Him in all that we do.

How you tame the mean girl inside of you? Leave a comment to share your ideas.

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