About Cru Greek Wide

Confessions of a Former Mean Girl

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?

Appearance.

"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

Personality.

'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

Conversation.

'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

Overall.

"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.

"Would Jesus have joined a fraternity?"

By: Isaac Jenkins, Cru Greek Consultant at Ole Miss

People often ask me where my office is on the campus of Ole Miss, and I tell them my office is the Greek system here.

We have some of the biggest fraternities in the nation. For example, the Kappa Alpha house had over 100 new members last fall, making it the biggest chapter in the nation. The Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Nu and Alpha Tau Omega houses also have the biggest chapters in the nation.

We’ve got one of the biggest Greek systems in the country here, and my question is this: “Would Jesus have associated with these guys?”

To start, let’s look at Matthew 9: 9-12.

“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ He told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’
On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’”

There’s a couple different people in this story: Jesus, the Pharisees, Matthew, his friends, all these sinners, and then the disciples. The room is crowded with sinners, and the Pharisees can’t even walk inside the room or they will be declared ceremonially unclean.

So they’re probably outside the room, while Jesus is sitting at the table hanging out with these “sinful people”. And all of a sudden, He stops, because He discerns what the Pharisees are saying, and that’s when He says, “those who are well have no need of a physician, but it’s those who are sick,” and then He goes right back to talking with these people.

I think Jesus would spend most of his time with the lost, and the Greek system is a great place for you to spend your time.

A DRUNKARD AND A GLUTTON

Look at Matthew 11:19. Jesus says, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, look at Him, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Why would they call him a drunkard and a glutton? Because he was spending all of His time with the lost over at these parties.

Now, Jesus may not have even drank wine at all, but the fact that He was simply associating with these people gave Him a bad reputation with the Pharisees. I’ve been in the Greek system for 29 years--this is my 21st  year at Ole Miss--and to be honest, I think a lot of Christians spend their time looking more like the Pharisees than Jesus.

FOR STUDENTS AND CAMPUS MINISTERS

If you’re in high school, you’re thinking about going to college and you’re a Christian: I would love for you to really pray about maybe joining a fraternity or sorority to have an influence and to make a difference for Christ.

If you’re a freshman and you’ve pledged a house: maybe it’s not the house or the chapter you wanted to be a part of, but remember–you’re not the one who gets yourself into a fraternity. It’s not your looks or who you know–it’s God.

If you’re a junior or senior and you’re starting to get caught up in your resume or feeling burnt out in chapter life: I would challenge you to think, “Why am I in this house?” Never again in your life will you have so much contact with so many people who will know you, look up to you and respect you.

My feeling is that you need to be living in the house. You need to be eating all your meals in the house. I lived in the fraternity house for two years when I was at Arkansas, and those were some of the highlights of my life! I went to every chapter meeting, every party. I was right there, so that I earned the right to stand up in chapter and say what I wanted to say, or meet with the new members.

The key is being consistent. Yes, you make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. But if you’re consistent over the long haul, the Lord can really use you in the Greek system. This is a huge group of people who need to know about the Lord.

If you’re a campus minister, I want you to really think about going to these places, praying for them. I’m going to have all kinds of videos on the website www.greeklegacy.org to train you, and you can contact me through email. I want to be a resource for you so that we can reach every fraternity man and sorority woman around the nation with the Gospel.

WHAT ABOUT THE ORPHANS AND WIDOWS?

This is my 25th year in full-time ministry, and at times I’ve really struggled with why I’m reaching these men and women. I think, what about the orphans and widows?

My sister is a missionary in Honduras and I’ve gone there twice to help her. She literally works with the orphans, the outcasts and the street kids, and I’ve struggled with God, “Why have you called me to be here with these guys?”

In Revelation 3:17, Jesus is talking to the church at Laodicea, but He’s really talking to the church of the future and to people who could be your typical fraternity man  or sorority woman.

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

He’s saying, “You think you’ve got it all together? You don’t realize that you are miserable, wretched, poor, blind and naked.”

WILL YOU PRAY FOR THE GREEK SYSTEM?

I would challenge you to join with me and pray for the Greek system. Pray for the Greek system on your campus. Pray for the fraternity or sorority that God may be calling you to be a part of.

I don’t think God wants all the Christians to be together, and He sure doesn’t want to leave your junior and senior year and go off and create your own holy huddle. You need to be right here, active. You need to be the officers, you need to be the Chaplain, you need to be the New Member Educator.

There might not be another time in your life when you know so many other people who need the Gospel.

originally published on September 17, 2014 on cru.org