As you may know, Taylor Swift sings a catchy little tune called “Mean”, and I must confess, I like that song.
The thing is, all of us can relate to it. I would dare say all of us have been treated poorly by a group of “meanies” and on the flip side, I fear many of us have been on the opposite side as well… Dishing out some “mean” to someone else whom, for whatever reason, we don’t like.
Well, why don’t we like them?
Maybe because they are just like us, and we are annoyed at the reflection. Or, maybe it is because we are envious, or jealous of them. Possibly they have something we want. Maybe they have the friends we want, or then job we want, or the body we want. Maybe we are tired of being beaten down by other meanies, and so we are paying the meanness forward. Maybe we are filled with a “mean center” covered with an outwardly nice shell.
I have never been a mean person. I have probably been too nice. All my life, people have always said I was too nice. I do have a shepherd’s heart. I used to be so embarrassed about this. Not to say i am never willing to lay it on the line; I do as necessary. I do get angry.
But for those of us who have a penchant for the mean side, consider this: usually the meanness inside has to do with unresolved issues from past experiences. Hurt people, hurt people. It’s such a true cliche’. Talking about friends behind their back is mean. Judging another person without hearing and listening their point of view is mean. Not thinking the best about a friend is mean. Spitefully using others to promote yourself is mean. Stealing people’s reputations is mean.
Nevermind the bulk of Scripture that commands us to only speak, say and do those things that build another up. (Ephesians 4:2-4) Nevermind that Jesus commands us to make sure our brother or sister is not offended or hurt by us in any way before coming to God in worship. (Matthew 5:23)
I don’t know about you, but I really want to know why some people have to be so mean? We do have to forgive mean people. We do have to love mean people. But I dont have to like mean people. Mean people in the church is an oxymoron. If you call yourself part of the church, then you have made profession to take on the character and likeness of Christ the compassionate one, forgiving one, patient one, humble one, loyal one, and many other traits – none of them in any way, shape or form could be considered mean.
If you are mean, maybe you need some hard knocks to come and brake your conceit and pride. Guess what? I did. Yes, Even though being mean was not at all my issue, there have been other issues in my life that God needed to deal with. I needed God to break me and shape me. And he did. He still does. It is called DISCIPLESHIP.