Updated: Aug 2, 2018
Being a woman in ministry, I would think that my biggest advocates would be women and my biggest naysayers most often would be men. Nah, my life is quite the opposite. My biggest advocates are men in ministry. Believe it or not, mean girl behavior still exists in the church world and I’ve been the victim of it so many times, my patience for adolescent women is almost non-existent. I’ve seen women push, shove, slap, undermine, provoke, and lie to get ahead. It’s disgusting.
It be a woman of grace that does not retaliate takes discipline…and the power of the Holy Ghost. To every female in ministry that is struggling to maintain friendships/connections with women, I have a few things to say. Mean girl behavior is bigger than just behavior. I’m not a psychologist, I have pathologized mean girl behavior with these attributes based on my experience:
Mean girls are passive aggressive bullies. They usually recruit other people who are weak minded to join them in their attacks.
Mean girls struggle with envy. They will go to great lengths to sabotage your reputation and spread rumors.
Mean girls are appearance driven. Often times, these women will overly focus on your appearance. Your clothes, your hair, your makeup… if they can’t be you, they will literally try to eliminate you and your status.
Mean girls are extremely controlling. When their efforts to discredit you, ostracize you, offend you or provoke you FAIL, they may become extremely volatile.
If you are a woman of influence, you will come across a “mean girl” more times that you are willing to admit. These behaviors indicate that mean girls suffer from depression, low-self esteem, the spirit of rejection, spirit of Jezebel, spirit of witchcraft, spirit of sabotage, loneliness, and affectation. Dear woman of influence, it’s important that you walk in grace, power, authority, boldness, love and truth – which is the antithesis of attributes mentioned above.
Let’s talk for a moment about the spirit of Jezebel, which I believe is the foundation of mean girl behavior.
The spirit of Jezebel usually oppresses individuals of influence, power, and anointing. Likewise, mean girls come for women of a certain caliber. Below, I listed some traits of the spirit of Jezebel, which should shift your perspective about this whole mean girl situation.
Spirit of Jezebel Traits:
· Jezebel hates men and women in authority who are over her position. She will do just about anything to get someone’s place of prominence, especially those who speak the truth or have a genuine heart.
· A Jezebel spirit in a woman will not submit to a man, if she does it will only be in pretence in order to gain ground because her submission is conditional.
· A person with a Jezebel spirit may look innocent and be widely known as being very helpful and friendly, but it is deceitfully cunning and subtle.
· A Jezebel places themselves in the place of prominence because they really want to be popular, even to the degree of being worshipped. This is attention seeking at its finest.
· If a gifted person of influence has a Jezebel as a friend that person will suffer greatly because Jezebel will act like a friend yet he/she is an enemy seeking to sabotage them and their gifts.
· A Jezebel will volunteer for anything and everything in the church. Not because they want to help, but because they are controlling and want to lead many things for the purpose of receiving admiration.
· A Jezebel thinks he/she can have any man/woman they want, even if the person is already with someone. Jezebel finds a thrill in destroying relationships and feels powerful knowing that another woman’s man or another man’s woman is giving them attention. Key word: attention.
· A Jezebel is very spiritual and religious. He/she will make you think they are more spiritual than most people. However, when you begin to discern and test them, you will find that they are immature in the faith.
· A Jezebel will have a record of your history and especially knows your triumphs and victories. They closely monitor you, remember that. They will casually bring up in conversations your flaws and weaknesses to mock you or they will bring up your victories as a way to butter you up. This is done to frustrate you. Don’t take the bait.
· A Jezebel spirit is difficult to pin down. If the person is near to being confronted, he or she will skillfully twist the entire situation, trying to make the innocent person look like the one who is attempting to control. Jezebel will do anything to look like the one who is right. Anything.
I mentioned these traits because somethings are not a behavioral issue. Deliverance and therapy are equally important for individuals who operate in the spirit of Jezebel as well as those who are oppressed by it. Whether you are a ministry leader, pastor’s wife, entrepreneur, doctor, barista, you have to be prayerful about how you respond to this spirit’s antics. I’ve been through this more than a few times, so here’s my advice:
1. You’re not crazy.
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. You have discerned very well. Quit trying to talk yourself out of the truth. You have to view your situation as spiritual attack that was allowed to mature you spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Walk in the spirit and not in offense. Resist the enemy by being productive. Handle this situation in prayer and allow God to defend you. Remember, your fight is not with the individual, but with the spirit.
2. You have to come to grips with the fact that bae & best friend might not get it.
I’ve talked to so many pastor’s wives who are depressed because their husband doesn’t hear the side comments, he doesn’t see the side eyes and he can’t feel their pain. I wish I could tell you that prayer would fix it, but I can’t. Men just miss it sometimes. They are human and their sight is limited – but it’s not the end of the world. God is a defender. The enemy would LOVE for you to put a wall up between you and bae, but don’t give him the satisfaction. Even if bae never understands what they said or how they said it, TRUST GOD.
Keep praying that God open up his eyes. However, it may be best to focus on how to mature in this situation. I know it’s annoying, but the mean girls have no authority to kill you or reassign you. You’re covered by the blood, so act like it.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalms 34:19 ESV).
3. You have to practice self-control.
The enemy wants to get under your skin. The enemy wants you to cuss and act a fool so that YOU look like the mean girl instead of your accuser. I’ve had several incidences where I allowed my flesh to make me come off of my throne. I’m a fighter by nature, so I have no problems with conflict or addressing an issue. However, I’ve found that the mean girls that throw the most passive aggressive shots towards are usually cowards when confronted. Don’t take this opportunity to bully them, but as an opportunity to expose everythingthat is not like God and be the light that God has called you to be. At the end of the day, God’s heart is for that person to repent from their ways. Remember that.
Can I let you in on a secret? All the spirit of Jezebel wants is attention. However, the more you ignore it, the louder it’s actions will become. Don’t fall for the trap of the enemy. You are a woman that is called to walk in grace and favor. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit that queens possess. Peasants act erratically. So which one would you rather be?
4. Influence attracts attacks.
You are a light that darkness can not comprehend. You would be surprised at all how people struggle with thoughts of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety and they CHOOSE to take it out on you! If you’re going to be a light, you’re going to attract flies. I’m not asking you to be a coward or bite your tongue, I’m asking you to ascend to your throne and stay there. Where God is taking you, you have to be able to handle the murmurs and naysayers and complete your God-given assignment.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5: 13-16 ESV).
5. Be careful of who and what you affirm.
I’ve had quite a few experiences where women become “mean girls” because I didn’t affirm them.Let me explain. I had a situation where I saw a girl emulate me through her wardrobe that escalated to a very strange place.
One day, I walked in a classroom, and this woman had one the exact outfit I wore seven days prior. Could it have been an coincidence? At that time, I didn’t wear weave. I wasn’t natural. I wore pearls with everything and I had an infatuation with Sperry’s. The woman I’m referring to was pushing 50, natural hair and dressed like a school teacher. I, on the other hand, was basically a hippie. To see her walk in class dressed EXACTLY like me, I was undone! I thought I was seeing things, but I brushed it off. Right before class started, she came up to me and asked me if I liked her outfit. I didn’t respond. I just looked at her. Luckily, the teacher started class, so I used that as my excuse to not answer.
That was the moment everything changed. Every time I saw this lady for the next year, she copied something unique to me. It was creepy. As the months went on, it accelerated to the point she followed me to my house, stalked me, mimicked me to the point she wanted to become me. I know some of you don’t see the problem in this because you like attention, but this was extremely annoying. One day, I decided to confront her. I called her on the phone and I told her that she needed to stop because this was getting out of hand. I told her how creepy it is to stare at someone for HOURS during class. I told her that she needed to stop following me before I beat her _______ (use your imagination. God has worked on me since then lol). This was her response:
I just wanted you to do be my friend. When I came in class that day, I just wanted you to affirm me.
Dear women of influence, people want to be you. They want you to affirm them in their feeble attempt to be you. When you don’t affirm them, they feel rejected as if YOU have wronged THEM. I know it’s crazy, but it’s the truth. Imitation isn’t always flattery, it’s disrespectful. It’s like telling God that he didn’t make you well enough. Additionally, it’s disrespectful to the woman who has fought to hard to become a woman of influence. My advice to you is to not underestimate the power of your style, your presence and your words. Don’t stop being you.
Don’t stop being inspiring, but don’t fake it. Your authenticity is everything to God, don’t lose that.
6. Do not feed into passive aggressive side comments.
While I find shade to be humorous in certain situations, I have no problem with being direct with a person or a spirit that is vexing a person. Being direct leaves no room for misunderstanding or errors. That’s why you have to be led by the Holy Spirit so that you won’t appear to be “out of order”. This means YOU have to refrain from side comments.
Own what you say.
If you said it, be willing to repeat it.
Love first, ask questions later.
Address issues in the moment. Don’t let issues linger.
Release your right to retaliate.
Don’t miss your opportunity to shut up.
7. Tell your homegirls to stand down.
I have a squad of women who will fight for me, spiritually and physically. I purposely don’t tell them every time someone comes for me because I don’t want to end up in jail, I’ve got too much to do. Encourage your squad to defend you in the realm of the spirit. Bombard heaven with prayers of protection, encouragement, and spiritual warfare prayers. Release the irritation and frustration to God and let it stay there.
My prayer is for you reach your fullest potential. My prayer is for your life and your actions (and reactions) to bring God glory and honor. My prayer is for your mouth, that you would only speak when necessary. I pray that God fortify your relationships and friendships. I pray that the angels would surround you and protect from every evildoer. I pray for your heart. I pray you heal from wounds that you refuse to discuss. Lastly, I pray for your success. I pray that you surprise yourself.
Shine girl, it’s your time.