Children Can Be Mean!

When I was a boy, nearly all the guys in my fourth grade class had a pair of Chuck Taylor’s. In fact, even when I reached High School, this was the shoe that was issued to us on the basketball team. (For nostalgic purposes, I’ve purchased a few pairs as an adult and I came to realize just how uncomfortable those shoes were! Those Chuck Taylor’s had no arch support, and were basically a flat piece of rubber between your feet and the ground).

But one of the memories I have of this particular tennis shoe is what would happen whenever someone wore their brand new pair of Chuck Taylor’s to school. You see, these shoes had a white piece of rubber that covered the toe area. That pristine white piece of rubber became a magnet to all the other boys. They would do their best to stomp on it and leave their dirty footprints on that brand new shoe. By the end of the day, your shoes would look like the shoe on the right in the picture.

It’s strange how mean children can sometimes be. Aren’t you glad we’re adults and don’t have to deal with such childishness anymore? (If you didn’t catch it, that was written with sarcasm).

As adults we still have to guard against jealousy and envy. It requires maturity to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). Far too often we still find it easier, and maybe even more satisfying, to rejoice over those who weep and weep over those who rejoice. How is that any different from stomping on the toes of someone’s “Chuck Taylor’s?”

As an adult, have you ever shared information that you knew about another person that didn’t need to be told? Maybe it was about something in that person’s past or an embarrassing mistake they once made. And though there is no need to tell it, and by telling it others might think less of that person, we tell it anyway. How is that any different from stomping on the toes of someone’s “Chuck Taylor’s?”

I once had a Christian, who was continually in a state of conflict with the bishops of the congregation, tell me that he tried to create scenarios in which he could trip these men up, and have them make a public mistake, lessening their respect in the eyes of the congregation.  How is that any different from stomping on the toes of someone’s “Chuck Taylor’s?”

I entitled this article, “Children Can Be Mean,” but upon reflection, there might be a better, more appropriate title. What do you think? Friends, stay off other people’s “Chuck Taylor’s!”

(BTW, thanks to Darren McCoy for his comment in Bible class last night. Though he made a different point, his comments about tennis shoes reminded me of how we all would “dirty” each other’s new shoes).

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