By: Blake Blankenbecler, Staff at SAGE HILL RESOURCES
Every August universities across the nation have Sorority Recruitment. This delightful week, also known as rush, is when girls visit the various sororities on campus hoping to be picked by their dream sisterhood. This week is ripe with heartbreak and insecurity. During rush, young women are rated in each sorority by their appearance, personality, conversation, and overall cool factor.
While I never quite thought of myself as a Mean Girl, the truth is, I “rated” hundreds of girls during my stint as a sorority girl. Every fall at my alma mater thousands of girls don their best Lilly Pulitzer dress and pair of Jack Rogers to get a bid from the sorority of their dreams. It wasn’t too long ago that I, too, walked into houses with hundreds of girls cheering their hearts out about how wonderful their sorority was.
During rush, a girl would magically appear to my right, take my arm and veer me into a corner of the room. “Wait you’re from Charlotte?” I would exclaim, “What a coincidence, me too!” Little did I know that the form I filled out prior to rush was meticulously reviewed and all those “coincidences” with the different initiates weren’t so coincidental after all.
Back then, I had my eye on a particular sorority and I desperately wanted a bid from them. I looked at the girls in their light blue lettered shirts and so badly wanted to be a part of their sisterhood. They were the pretty girls, the smart girls, and the ones that had engagement rings before they graduated. They had it all together, and I wanted to be one of them. As the days went on and I tried to keep powder on my face despite the one hundred degree heat, the sorority I wanted remained on my list. I even practiced how I would look doing their coveted sign with my hands in my dorm room at night…(so embarrassing!!!) Well, on bid day, when I turned around and looked down at my bid card… my heart sank. I didn’t get a bid from my first choice. I tried to be excited about the bid that I did get. I pulled my t-shirt on with my new letters and put my sunglasses on to hide the tears I was trying to fight back.
I. Was. Crushed.
Luckily I fought back the tears long enough to meet some of my new sorority sisters and much to my surprise they were a ton of fun. I remember taking a picture with this other really tall girl on bid day and she ended up being my roommate for the next three years! Who would’ve thought?! While I loved my experience of being in a sorority, getting into one was something I would definitely not want to relive.
The only thing worse than experiencing rush, was being on the other side the following years. That’s when I learned about what really went down when a girl walks into a house. While every sorority is different in how they “rate” girls, you’re being rated nonetheless. I don’t mean to harp on how superficial sororities are because I think quite the opposite. I want to look at the judging and comparing and rating that happened in my own heart.
I would tell myself that while I didn’t get my dream sorority, at least I didn’t get that dreaded sorority. I compared myself to others to make me feel better about myself. I was flat out insecure so in order to feel secure I had to downplay others to elevate myself. There is nothing pretty about what was going on in my heart…in fact, I was petty and judgmental. I cringe thinking of words that were spoken during our chapter meetings as we rated girls based on their appearance or what little we knew of their personalities. Like Regina George who hand selected who could sit at what table in the school cafeteria, we critiqued girls and decided who could join our social circle.
Thankfully, I became a Christian during my junior year of college. My world was rocked when I started following Jesus. All of a sudden, the normal way of operating in college was not normal anymore. Following Jesus meant that I couldn’t judge people based on the fickle things that the world values and I was called to radically love people: no matter their height, weight, or cool factor. With a new heart and new eyes to see others, I would feel convicted when I looked at a girl and judged her based on superficial standards. Jesus called me to turn from my old ways of judging people and learn to love them with His love.
I’m so thankful that God changed my heart and convicted me about judging people based on what they wear or their social status. God’s way is so much more joyful and filled with life. But I do recognize that those old ways of operating are still in me (my old sinful nature) and God is still working on my heart to see others and myself as He sees. Those “Mean Girl” habits of labeling people based upon their appearance, personality, and overall cool factor can get ingrained in us. Therefore, it is important to take inventory of our own hearts and see if there are places that we look to others to feel secure apart from Jesus. You may be the one judging others or the one feeling judged. Neither is a great place to be. The place to look is God and His Word. So, what does He have to say about it all?
"And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" 1 Samuel 16:7
'Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—thing about such things.' Philippians 4:8
'Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.' Ephesians 4:29
'Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.' Ecclesiastes 10:12
"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. 'The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2
Originally published on August 7, 2014 at Redeemedgirl.org. Republished with permission.