In a recent sit down talk with Oprah Winfrey and a few other African American leading ladies, actress Gabrielle Union expressed how she was once a “mean girl” to her peers. A video clip was shown of her accepting an Essence award and she openly admitted to having ill feelings towards her fellow actresses simply because in her mind she thought… “If their lights were dim, that means mine could shine brighter [paraphrase].”

Ms. Union also admitted to literally “dogging out” a fellow actress at a party in the midst of a crowd of people and then later being pulled aside by her friend and life coach who asked powerful questions that became a sorta paradigm shift: What did you gain from doing that? Did you get another role? Did it put more money in your pocket? What was the purpose of it?

I could totally relate to her confession. Why? Because for a very long time in my life I was a silent “Christian” mean girl. And I was super mean too. You see, the only difference between Gabrielle Union and myself what she was bold enough to speak her mind, gossip and share how she felt about her peers. Me on the other hand, I was silent about how I felt and although outwardly I expressed celebratory words, on the inside I secretly despised the success of my sister’s in Christ.

I wanted to see them lose. I wanted to see what they did crumble. I wanted to hear about their issues and failures. Because in my sick thinking, like Ms. Union’s, I thought their demise would only mean my light would shine brighter. The second they messed up or failed, I thought people would look at me and say, “But you’re doing so well. You’ve got it going on!”

Do you see the selfishness and vanity in that? It was not of God, and here’s the sad part… I was a child of God feeling that way. Yep! A child of the Most High God and just as selfish, self-centered, vain and proud as I could be. Sounds more like I was a child of satan than of God, but that was my truth.

I got a revelation one day, “I don’t have to dim my light so others can shine. There is enough light for everyone to shine brightly.” And here’s that revelation in reverse, “I don’t have to try to dim another person’s light so mine can shine brighter. There is still enough light for everyone to shine brightly.” They can do them, I can do me and we both can shine while doing us.

The Bible teaches in Matthew 12:22-30 that a house divided against itself cannot stand. If I was divided against my sisters in Christ, then guess what? I wasn’t able to effectively stand for Him. I was just being fake with lip service only. Here’s the thing, being divided to the point of bickering, backbiting, gossiping and envy only gives powers and authority for satan to rule in our hearts and minds; and God get’s no glory in that whatsoever.

Truth be told, my mean girl ways was rooted in fear and aggravation. Aggravated with my own life that I became fearful I would be left out. Fear that they would receive more accolades than me and my “good deeds” wouldn’t be recognized. Fear they would be more successful than I was. (See the vanity in that again?)

Not only that, but those mean girl ways only affected me in the end, not the people I would silently be mean to. They had no idea how I felt, but God knew and so did the one thriving off and even fueling those feelings (satan). I was in a secret prison and couldn’t scream for help in fear that my screams for help would reveal who I really was on the inside. What a sad place to be in! I want to encourage you fellow “silent mean girls”… Prisoner, free thyself! Open your mouth and free thyself!

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.” -Revelation 12:11, KJV

I can’t really pinpoint where my moment of change came in exactly, but I had to first confess my sins before God and allow Him to heal my heart and deliver me from fear. Then I decided once and for all to be happy for my sisters (sincerely), with God’s help. I decided to not just celebrate outwardly, but also celebrate inwardly. To offer help whenever I could and to really put myself in a humble position of service to them. There’s nothing more humbling than serving someone else.

I’m no longer that silent Christian mean girl that I once was. However, I would be lying to you if I said I never had those feelings again. Every once in a while they will try to come upon me through a spirit of comparison, but I immediately rebuke them and allow the power of Holy Spirit to remove them like only He can. Not only that, but I’m surrounded by such beautiful women of God I cannot help but love, cherish and celebrate them. They have become my inspiration, and not my target of aggravation.

Virtuously Yours,