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Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

I spent the years between middle school and high school avoiding mean girls. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You know, that one group of girls that made you change direction in the hallway and walk all the way around the building just so you didn’t have to stroll past them. The ones that made you feel like you weren’t good enough by reminding you that somehow you didn’t measure up to their ever changing standards.

At that time in my life I did not have many girl friends. The only kids in my neighborhood were boys, and that suited me just fine. Boys made much better friends to a girl that lacked in self-esteem. They made no judgements about my weight, hair style, or likes and dislikes. They didn’t care what brand of jeans I was wearing as long as I was willing to play hard and get dirty.

They treated me no differently that any other guy friend. If I couldn’t keep up, I got left behind…just like the younger boys.

That group of boys was as real as they come. If they disagreed, they would argue one minute and the next they were giving high-fives to each other as they attempted their next boyhood daredevil achievement; because nothing was more important than their friendship. No competition, no lingering feuds; just friends being friends.

Once I entered into adulthood, I thought women would approach friendship differently than they did in high school, more like that group of guys that seemed to “get” it – that pettiness wasn’t worth it. But I quickly learned sometimes mean girls grow up to be mean women.

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Many parent/teacher meetings, school events and sports competitions would prove to be something like a scene out of high school. You could tell where everyone ranked just by the disapproving glances of hurting women pretending to have life all tied together in a pretty, perfect ribbon.

See, that’s the thing.  We are all carrying something around with us.

  • a hurt from long ago or even a recent wound from a friend or loved one
  • a lack of self confidence in how we look
  • guilt from the fight we just had with our spouse

We carry these heavy, ugly truths around trying to distract others from finding out we aren’t perfect – we don’t have it all together.

We don’t want Jane and Sally to know our outside doesn’t match our inside, so we lash out.  We keep them at arms length by harshly judging their flaws in an effort to distract from our own.

But what would happen if we all just decided to let down our guard and just be real with each other?

To be unafraid to admit about the struggles we all face as women?
To admit we need encouragement because:

  • we have those extra pounds we’re trying to cover up
  • we feel like we blew it when we yelled at our kids and it leaves us feeling like a failure

What would happen if we started encouraging each other with our words rather than judging?

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Let’s seek to build relationships with each other through God’s word to bring truth and peace to our overwhelmed hearts.

It’s time to tame the inner mean girl and become real women developing relationships based on encouragement, accountability to God’s word, and love for each other.

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Written by Stephanie K. Adams

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