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“So how was the birthday party?” asked Dad as he sat down on Justin’s bed to tuck him in.
“It was great!” replied Justin. “We had chocolate cupcakes and played games in the yard.”
“What kind of presents did Patrick get?”
“He got some new basketball shoes and a new basketball with a hoop. Oh, and socks from his gramma!” Justin giggled.
“Well, I guess new socks go with new shoes,” Dad replied. “Sounds like he got some nice things.”
“Yeah. But the best present was the Ultra-Max-Deluxe water shooter!” Justin exclaimed. “It’s so cool! You can shoot water all the way across the yard. You can soak everybody!”
“I sure wish I had one of those,” Justin said dreamily.
“You’ve got a water shooter. Mom and I gave it to you for your birthday,” Dad pointed out.
“Yeah, but it’s just a plain old Super water shooter. I want an Ultra-Max-Deluxe like Patrick got,” Justin pouted.
“They can’t be that different,” said Dad. “Why do you want that one so bad?”
Justin shrugged, “I don’t know. Patrick’s water shooter is better than mine—I just want it.”
“Hmm. You better be careful, Justin. It sounds like you might be coveting Patrick’s new water shooter.”
“Huh? What does that mean?”
“Well, coveting is a serious sin. It’s when we get greedy and feel like we can’t be happy unless we have something that belongs to someone else,” Dad explained. “God wants us to be happy with the blessings he gives, not wishing for the stuff everyone else has. Good night, Kiddo.” Dad gave Justin a hug and kiss and left the room.
Justin sighed as he closed his eyes and thought about Patrick’s water shooter. “I just want it,” he whispered to himself before he fell asleep and began to dream.
In his dream, Justin went downstairs for breakfast the next morning. He was really hungry, but when he walked into the kitchen, there was nothing on the table. He looked around. Everything was gone. The toaster was gone, the coffeepot was gone—even the brand-new curtains Mom just hung up on the window were gone.
“That’s strange,” Justin thought. But what was really weird was when Justin looked up and saw his mom on a stepladder painting the kitchen walls.
“Mom, what are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m redoing my kitchen,” said Mom.
“Oh, umm, can I have breakfast, please?” Justin asked.
“Nope!” Mom replied. “I want my kitchen to look exactly like Auntie Bev’s kitchen. So I don’t have time to make any food until it’s all finished.”
“But how come you’re redoing the kitchen? I thought you liked your kitchen—you just got new curtains,” Justin asked.
Mom shrugged. “I don’t know. Auntie Bev’s kitchen is better than mine—I just want it.”
Justin stared at his mom in disbelief. He went into the living room, and there sitting in the middle of the floor was—Dad! All around him were stacks of money.
“Dad?” Justin said.
“Shhh, I’m counting my money,” Dad said. “Four thousand twenty-one . . .”
“Why are you counting money?” Justin asked.
“Because I’m going to buy a red sports car just like Mr. Monroe’s.”
“But don’t you need that money for other stuff, like food and clothes?”
“Naaww! We don’t need any more food or clothes,” Dad replied as he held up a wad of money. “I want a sports car!”
“How come?” asked Justin. “I thought you liked our car.”
Dad shrugged. “I don’t know. His car is better than mine—I just want it.”
“Oh, boy,” thought Justin, “everyone is coveting.” He walked into the family room where Ellie was coloring a picture at the little table. She held tightly to her favorite purple crayon as she scribbled on her paper.
“Hi, Ellie,” Justin said as he sat down at the table and took out a sheet of paper to color on. “At least you’re acting normal.”
Justin reached for a crayon. Suddenly Ellie’s little hand shot out and grabbed the crayon away from Justin. “My cwayon!” she exclaimed.
“But you have the purple one,” said Justin.
Ellie shook her head and started coloring again using the crayon she took from Justin.
Justin tried again. As he pulled another crayon from the box, Ellie snatched it right out of Justin’s hand. “Ellie, stop that. You have two crayons already. How come you gotta have mine, too?” he asked.
Ellie shrugged. “I dunno. Your cwayon is betta than mine—I just want it.”
Justin was tired of this. Everyone seemed to be going crazy. “No, Ellie,” he said, “you can’t have my crayon; you have your own. Just be happy with that one. It’s your favorite purple crayon.”
Ellie’s lip started to quiver and then she started to cry. Soon she was howling, “No! I wan it!”
“No, Ellie!” Justin shouted as he clutched his crayon.
“I want it!”
“No! No, Ellie,” Justin cried.
“Justin, Justin!” Mom gently shook Justin to wake him up.
“Huh? What happened?” Justin asked as he opened his eyes.
“Well, it sounds like you were having a bad dream,” replied Mom. “But it was only a dream. Go back to sleep now.” She gave Justin a hug and tucked him back in for the night.
The next morning, Justin walked into the kitchen. “Phew! It’s just the same as always,” he said to himself. And there was Dad at the table eating his toast—not sitting on the living room floor.
“Justin, I was thinking,” Dad said as they ate. “You could do some extra chores and save up for an Ultra-Max-Deluxe water shooter. Then you could buy one just like Patrick’s.”
Justin suddenly remembered his dream. Everyone wanted something just like someone else’s, and it was a terrible dream. He put his spoon down and thought for a minute then shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said, “I think my plain, old Super shooter is just fine!”
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.