I went to summer camp last week and the girls have a tradition where the seniors do a devotion with the freshmen. Since I was a senior this summer I really wanted to do a devotion. For a long time I couldn't decide what to talk about, then one day I was thinking about how bad drama is every year at camp. BAM! I knew what I should research :) I thought this would be helpful to everyone, not just the freshmen, so I invited all the girls to my cabin. My mom thought this could be helpful to other people, hence the blog post :)
Our youth pastor talks about how Satan doesn't want us to go to camp because it's always so good for us, I think it's very true. But I don't think Satan gives up when we get to camp either. Can you picture him saying, "Dang it, she's at camp.. Guess I'll just leave her alone?" I think he does everything in his power to keep us from getting much out of camp. One of the things he uses to distract people, especially girls, from the important things is drama.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not perfect and I will mess up at some point this week. I'm talking to myself here as much as I am to you. I probably got a whole lot more from this when I was working on it than any of you will, but I do think this can be really helpful to you. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger, that's why I'm telling you. I'm going to use a lot of verses for credibility because I don't want you to say, "That's just Hannah's opinion, who cares what she says."
Now I know that camp is a place to have fun, but camp is also a place where you can be blessed and yo have so many opportunities to bless someone else.
James 3:14-18 pretty much sums up what I'm going to refer to as drama and unprofitable emotions. It says, "But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." So drama is jealousy, fighting, and ugliness in our hearts being revealed; it brings about confusion and evil things. We are supposed to be peaceable, gentle, merciful, without hypocrisy, and so on.
I want you to understand this isn't "just" girls being girls, this is a spiritual battle that we have to fight like it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Girls are emotional right? That's just the way we're made. But! that doesn't mean we have to be slaves to our feelings, we can control ourselves. Our flesh is sinful and we need help because a lot of times we don't want to control our emotions. That's where Philippians 4:13,19 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 come in. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
Girls can be really cruel; when you're mean, blow a situation out of proportion, or whatever- it reflects badly on you. It doesn't accomplish anything productive, it damages your testimony, it hurts you, it feeds a critical spirit, you look foolish (Proverbs 12:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.), it reveals the ugliness in your heart (Proverbs 23:7 For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he...)(Matthew 12:34b-35 ... For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.), and really- does it make you feel better?
There are some different things I've seen cause drama at camp: 1) When you're dealing with a problem 2) When a friend has a problem- it can directly or indirectly affect you 3) When friends are fighting 4) When girls are just plain mean.
So what do you do when you have a problem? If possible get it taken care of as soon as you can. Sometimes though a situation can't be dealt with at camp (like family issues or something). In this case camp will be so much better for you if you can just let go. 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him for he careth for you." Luke 12: 6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Your trials are precious to the Lord. 1 Peter 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." In Psalms (56:8) David said that God saw his tears and put them in a bottle. (Psalms 55:22) God will bear your burdens if you'll let him, and remember- whatever you're going through- in Hebrews (13:5) He promises never to leave you.
Now what should you do if a friend has a problem? Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity." Sometimes she just needs to know that you love her, that you are there for her, for you to encourage her, and for you to pray for/with her.
When friends are fighting... What can you do to fix it? Well, it helps to avoid the fight in the first place! proverbs 14:29 "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 18:19 "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle." Stop and think about what you're going to do or say- if it isn't gracious then don't go down that road. It will save you a lot of trouble. If you end up in a fight you need to humble yourself and try to make things right. No matter who was "wrong" if you are the one to take the first step you'll both be better for it.
When girls are mean... I'm mostly just going to tell you how to not be the mean girl, because if no one is mean, no one gets hurt. It takes everyone to make this work. Proverbs 24:17 "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth." Proverbs 17:9 "he that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." When someone messes up you don't need to tell the world. If you see a friend doing wrong don't try to shame her publicly; go to her privately and tell her out of love that she shouldn't behave that way. If a friend rebukes you out of concern don't be offended. Remember, Proverbs 27:6 says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Don't talk badly about someone to their face; don't say something flattering to their face if you're going to whisper behind their back either. Psalm 62:4 "They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly." Proverbs 11:9 "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor..." Proverbs 16:28 "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends."
This week, at the very least you can refrain from tearing each other down. One way to avoid a ton of drama is to just be silent- it's often the wisest decision. if you can't be gracious you're probably better off keeping your mouth closed. Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Proverbs 26:20 "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." When you're silent it keeps you from being mean, encouraging hurtfulness, or from being sucked into pointless drama.
On the other hand, Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." When we speak we should keep Philippians 1:27 in mind. "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." When unbelievers look at our behavior they should see a difference and want what we have. We are saved, not only does that make us sisters, but we are individual members of one body. Ephesians 4:22-32 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minster grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day or redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Build each other up this week, not with empty flattery to puff up our pride, but sincere encouragement. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." Lift each other up this week.
If we are all kind, considerate peacemakers and do our best to minimize the drama- I promise you will get more out of camp. Don't let Satan steal camp from you while you're here.
So that's what I told the girls :) Hope it can be a blessing to you!