Gold Stars & Bouncing Balls

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Lesson 86

“I need a six,” said Emily as she rolled the dice.

Emily looked at the game board. She really wanted to move her game piece ahead of Jeremy’s.

“Two! Grrr!” Emily grumbled. “I’m tired of losing every game.”

Jeremy rolled his dice. “12—oh yeah!” He stood up and danced around the table. “I won again!”

Emily heaved a huge sigh. “How come Jeremy is so much better at everything?” she asked her mother.

“Well, he is older than you,” Mom explained. “But that doesn’t mean he’s better at everything.”

“Name one thing I can do better,” Emily said.

Mom pointed at the chore chart hanging on the wall. “Well, you are better at keeping up with your chores than he is. Look at all the gold stars by your name.”

Emily counted the stars on the chart. “I have eight and Jeremy has seven.”

Just then, Jeremy came in from taking out the trash. “I cleaned up the toys on the back porch, too,” he told Mom. Jeremy added not one but two gold stars by his name. “Now I have nine and you have eight.”

That did it! Emily decided she absolutely had to beat Jeremy at something!

The next day at breakfast, Emily was still thinking about beating Jeremy.

“Jeremy,” Mom said, “don’t forget to clean up the toys in the garage.”

“Aww,” Jeremy moaned. “I told Patrick I’d come over after breakfast.”

“Well, today’s the last day to get stars for this week,” Mom replied.

“Okay, I’ll do it when I get home,” Jeremy said as he ran out the door.

Emily finished her cereal and went outside. She found the basketball and bounced it for a while but didn’t feel like playing by herself. She took the ball into the garage to put it away. The garage was messy with toys.

Emily searched the shelf for the bin marked “Balls.” “Ah ha! That’s the one,” she said, reaching for it. She stood up on tip-toe. “Come on, you can do it,” she said to herself.

Finally, she got ahold of the bottom corner of the bin and started to pull. But the bin was heavier than she expected. Suddenly the whole thing tipped, surprising Emily and nearly knocking her over!

“Ahh!” Emily yelled. The balls tumbled out of the bin and bounced all around Emily. One ball even bounced on her head—bonk!

“Ouch!” she yelped. “What a mess.” Emily sighed as she looked at the scattered balls. “It’s a good thing it’s Jeremy’s job to clean the garage.”

Emily was about to leave the mess for Jeremy, but then she remembered something her mom had told her, “God says we should treat others the way we would want to be treated.”

Emily thought about that. “I guess I wouldn’t like it if Jeremy left a big mess for me.”

Emily grabbed the bin and began to fill it. She picked up the basketball, the baseball, the soccer ball, and the ping-pong ball and tossed them all into the bin. Then she found a stepstool and slid the bin back onto the shelf. Emily was so pleased with her work, she decided to clean up the rest of the toys, too.

“There, that’s much better.”

Later that day, Jeremy came home. “I guess I better finish my chores,” he said to himself. He walked through the kitchen on the way to the garage then screeched to a halt in front of the chore chart. He stared at the stars on the chart. “Wait a second. How did I get another star?” he wondered. Jeremy opened the door to the garage and saw, to his surprise, that it was perfectly clean. “Huh?” Jeremy scratched his head. “What happened to the mess?”

Jeremy turned to find Emily staring at the stars on the chart. “Hey, Emily, do you know how I got another star? And how the garage got clean?”

Emily looked at Jeremy. “That’s not fair!” she exclaimed. “You didn’t even do anything!” Emily turned angrily and ran upstairs to her room.

“What was all that about?” asked Mom.

“Emily’s mad because I got another star today.”

“Oh, yes. Thanks for cleaning up the garage already. It looks great, Jeremy,” said Mom.

“So, you added the star by my name?”

“Yep! You earned it.”

“It would be really cool to get paid for ten stars,” Jeremy thought. But then he remembered something his dad told him, “Wisdom is understanding what is right and what is wrong and choosing to do the right thing.”

“Uh, Mom?” Jeremy said. “I didn’t clean the garage. I think Emily did. That’s why she was mad just now. She should have the extra star, not me.”

Mom called Emily downstairs and asked her about the garage.

“I accidently made a mess,” Emily explained, “so I started cleaning up because I figured it wouldn’t be right to make Jeremy clean a mess that I made. It looked so good, I decided to finish the job.”

“Well, that was very kind of you.” Mom stuck two stars to the chart by Emily’s name, but to Jeremy’s surprise, she didn’t take away his extra star. “I’m proud of both of you. You’ve both shown wisdom in your choices.”

“So we both get stars?” asked Emily. “Woo-hoo!”

“That’s great!” Jeremy exclaimed. “And by the way, Emily, the garage actually looks nicer than it ever has. Thanks!”

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.