The parable of the mean girl

Published 6:17 am Friday, October 12, 2018


Religion columnist

A father and his daughter sat down one more time to deal with a year-old problem. Emma had another run in with one of the “cool” girls named Millie. “Dad, I don’t understand why she is always so mean to me. I do everything I can to be nice, to show the love of Jesus without rubbing her face in my faith. I never ridicule her, call her names or embarrass her in front of others, and she always does these things to me. I even pray for her regularly. I don’t think your guidance to win her over with kindness and love is ever going to work.”

Email newsletter signup

As they processed the struggle with Millie one more time they decided to stop and lift up the problem to God in prayer. Dad asked God to give them wisdom and insight into what was going on, and then they listened for God to speak to their souls. We can learn to listen for and hear the voice of God. God desires to have a personal relationship with each of us. He desires to share his perfect will with us so we can walk in his ways, and experience his greatest blessings in life.

God is so faithful, and always knows what is best. We read in Psalms 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Even when things aren’t going the way we want them to we should not doubt God’s faithfulness to us. The father and daughter went into prayer knowing this was true, and therefore they knew they needed an answer from God that had eluded them.

Indeed, God did show them the answer, and it surprised both father and daughter. The father said, “Emma, I think God is showing me that he purposely sent Millie into your life to make you stronger. You are not to be offended, and seek revenge for all the trouble Millie is causing in your life. She is in your life to teach you things you need to know.”

Emma responded, “I think you are right Dad. God is showing me that I need to be stronger for things he has planned for me in the future. That I am going to meet people like Millie that are just not going to like me, and I need to know how to handle such people in a loving and caring manor. God sent Millie now because this is a safe time in my life, and Millie will never actually hurt me physically.”

The father added, “That reminds me of a scripture in I Peter 4:12-13.” He found a Bible and read, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

Emma thought for a while before she said, “Dad, the scripture says I am to rejoice that I am suffering for Christ. That is hard to do. I want to get angry and treat Millie like she treats me. I think God is telling me to continue to pray for her, love her, forgive her, and keep doing what I am doing, and leave the rest to God. He will be faithful, and guide me through this time. I think I can do all that, but I am not so sure about the rejoicing part.”

They sat in silence for a while, then Emma said, “If I am going to learn to rejoice I am going to have to learn to thank God for putting Millie in my life to make me a stronger person. To do that I am going to need to do a lot of praying. May I say a prayer right now.” After the prayer the father hugged her and told her how proud he was, and how much he loved her. The daughter would one day tell her father how important that day was in her life for learning to trust God and to love and forgive difficult people.

Is there someone in your life that you wish wasn’t in your life? Is it possible that God put that person in your life? What can God teach you through that person? Do you trust God to always be faithful? What does that look like in your everyday life?

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit