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“Hey! That’s really neat,” said Matt, peering closely at the masterpiece Justin was building with his new blocks. “What do ya call it?”
“It’s a quadruple-tower castle,” Justin replied proudly. “See? I added a spot here for the knights to hide from the enemy.”
“Cool!” said Matt. “Let’s go shoot some baskets at my house. My mom said I should play outside today.”
“Okay,” Justin agreed as they left the family room. The boys went outside to play basketball. After a while, Justin heard his mom calling him home for dinner. “See ya later. Maybe you can come play kings and knights with me when I get my castle done.”
Justin hurried home. Mmm—something sure smelled good. He went into the kitchen.
“Mom, what’s for dinner?” Justin asked.
“Fried chicken,” Mom replied.
“My favorite!” said Justin. “Where’s Ellie?”
Mom looked up from the lettuce she was chopping. “I suppose she’s in the family room playing. Will you please go get her and help her wash for dinner?”
Justin went to find his little sister. Suddenly, he remembered that his castle was still sitting on the table—right where Ellie could reach it. “Oh, no!” Justin sprinted to the family room, but it was too late. Ellie had torn down two of the towers in his castle.
“Jussin,” said Ellie cheerfully. “I builded, too.” Ellie held out a handful of building blocks to show Justin.
“Ellie! You ruined my castle!” Justin shouted and grabbed the blocks out of Ellie’s hands.
Ellie looked at her big brother with a quivering lip, then she burst into tears. “Mommmmy!” she cried.
“Mommmmm!” Justin shouted.
Mom came running. “What?! What’s going on?” she asked breathlessly. Ellie pointed at Justin, and Justin pointed at Ellie. Then they both started talking at the same time. Suddenly, everyone froze when they heard a shrill whistle—tweeeet! It was Dad. He had just come home from work and was standing in the doorway.
“What is going on here?” he asked.
“Ellie ruined my castle after I worked so long on it. I was going to play with it when it was finished. Now it’s busted up, and it’s all her fault.” Justin jabbed his finger at Ellie.
Justin’s mom and dad finally decided what should be done. Ellie would receive punishment for playing with Justin’s blocks without asking first. However, Justin didn’t think that was good enough. He was mad at Ellie.
“I worked for three days on that castle. And she tore it down before I was even finished,” he grumbled.
“That’s enough, Justin,” said Dad as they sat down to dinner. “Ellie’s been punished. Just let it go.”
“Eat your chicken. It’s your favorite,” said Mom.
Justin took a bite of chicken, but it didn’t taste very good anymore; he was still too angry to eat.
That evening at bedtime, Justin’s parents came to tuck him in. “Good night, Kiddo,” said Dad.
“Sleep well, Justin,” Mom said, giving him a hug.
“Good night, I guess,” Justin replied with a grumpy look.
Dad stopped and looked at his son. “Are you still angry with your sister?”
“Justin, you can’t stay angry like that. Remember, Ellie is still very young; she doesn’t understand the same things you do. Besides, if you stay angry, you will only hurt yourself in the end.”
Justin sighed. He knew his dad was right. But for now, Justin didn’t want to let go of his anger yet.
The next day at school, Justin told Jessie what happened.
Jessie said, “That’s too bad, Justin. But it’s kind of cute how Ellie likes to copy you and do everything you do.”
“Huh? It’s not cute at all!” Justin replied. “She’s always messing stuff up.”
“Are you still mad at her? That was yesterday. My dad told me we should never stay mad overnight. It just makes us feel worse.”
Justin knew Jessie was right, but he still felt like being angry.
After school, Justin practiced his soccer kicks with Jeremy. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make a goal.
“Justin, what’s wrong? Are you mad about something?” asked Jeremy.
Justin told Jeremy about his quadruple-tower castle and how Ellie came and took it all apart.
“I understand how you feel,” said Jeremy. “I always got mad when my sister messed up my stuff. But my dad said I needed to let go of my anger because it was sin. If I stayed angry, it would end up hurting me. He was right. I remember feeling really bad, and nothing seemed to go right.”
“That’s what my dad said, too,” Justin replied. “I guess staying angry hasn’t been much fun. I don’t feel like eating, and I can’t even kick a decent goal. All because my little sister goofed up my building.”
“I remember when Emily totally ruined my castle fortress when she was little. I was so mad. But then I got to thinking that it was actually funny. I imagined Emily as the giant monster that came and attacked my castle.” Jeremy held up his hands in front of him and roared like a monster, “Roarrr!”
Justin grinned as he pictured Ellie as the giant, pink polka-dot monster coming to tear down his castle. “I guess I can pretend that way and rebuild it,” he agreed.
“Sure you can. I’ll help you if you want,” said Jeremy. “You’ll see, it’s much better than staying mad.”
“I think you’re right, Jeremy. Let’s go to my house and get started!”
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.