Everyday Stewardship

I am currently dealing with my third and youngest child going through middle school. I am convinced that the middle school years are a time of real purgatory on earth. It is also a time that tests your faith in humanity, because you wonder at times, “Can people really be that mean to one another?”
It doesn’t matter what crowd you are in. If you are cool or nerd, tall or short, male or female, all will, at some time in middle school, be made to feel horrible. Didn’t wear the right shoes today? Laughed too much at the joke? Made the mistake of telling the wrong person about a crush? For these and many more transgressions, you must be persecuted. 
Most of us will not be persecuted and killed for our belief like Stephen in Acts 7. But what we choose to say and do to others can sometimes feel like being struck with hard stones, especially when we are young. At times in our lives we find ourselves being hit hard by someone’s lack of kindness or even hatred and, unfortunately, we sometimes find ourselves holding a stone.
I can’t change those years of adolescence to make them easier, either for my own children or anyone else’s. And I also know that ignorance and hateful behavior does not always stop when one gets older. People are mean at all ages. But only you and I have control of what we say and do. As good stewards, may we always be using stones to build bridges and shelter. May we never be found ready to hurl something at someone for any reason. And when we find ourselves on the receiving end of hate, may we have the strength to echo the words of Stephen, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS