Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Miss Doreen Roth
This month we will look at the last of the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbourÕs house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbourÕs wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbourÕs.
To covet is to want something that is not yours. God has given us many good things, and commands us to be happy with what we have. Other people may have nice things that we would like to have, but instead of being jealous of them, we should be happy for them. Like all sins, coveting is a sin that leads to other sins, such as stealing, lying, and even murder. When people want something badly that isnÕt theirs, they will often think of ways to get it. If that doesnÕt work, they may lie, or steal, or even murder to get it.

Satan first came to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and told them if they ate of the forbidden fruit, they would become like gods. They believed him and wanted that forbidden fruit. Since they ate it, every person that is born in the world has this covetousness in their heart. You can see it in your own heart when you get jealous of other peopleÕs things, or think that you cannot be happy unless you have something new. Read the following story and see how DanielleÕs coveting led to other sins.

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Brenda came skipping happily into the house. ÒIÕm home!Ó she called. Hanging her coat up, she dropped into a chair at the kitchen table. Mom was wiping down the stove and counters. Her little sister Danielle climbed up onto a chair next to her.

ÒHow was CorrineÕs birthday party?Ó Mom asked.

ÒFun!Ó Brenda replied. ÒWe played pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs and then we played home-free hide and seek outside. They have a huge yard and I never got caught once. Rianne was ÒitÓ three times. Then we had pizza and ice cream for supper. And before we had birthday cake and she liked the books I gave her. She didnÕt have them yet.Ó

ÒIt sounds like you were busy!Ó said Mom. ÒWere Rachel and Karen there too?Ó

ÒYes,Ó Brenda answered. ÒAnd Rianne and me.Ó

ÒI wish I couldÕve gone too,Ó sighed Danielle, leaning her chin on her hands. ÒBrenda always goes to birthday parties.Ó She looked over at the little bag in BrendaÕs hands. ÒHey! Did you get a goody bag? WhatÕs in it? Can I have something?Ó Danielle asked eagerly.

ÒThereÕs some candy and stuff,Ó said Brenda. ÒYou can have some. Here, you can have the candy necklace,Ó she added. She knew Danielle loved candy necklaces.

ÒGoody!Ó Danielle exclaimed. ÒWhat else is in there?Ó

Brenda pulled a few candies and a fruit roll-up from the bag. ÒIÕm going to save this for later,Ó she announced. ÒI love fruit roll-ups and strawberry flavour is my favourite.Ó

Danielle looked longingly at the fruit roll-up, already forgetting about her candy necklace compared to that long strip of strawberry candy. She followed Brenda upstairs to the bedroom they shared and watched as Brenda put the candy in her dresser drawer. Her own candy necklace lay forgotten downstairs on the kitchen table.

ÒBrenda!Ó Mom called from the bottom of the stairs. ÒYou should come and finish up some homework before itÕs time for bed.Ó

ÒComing!Ó Brenda answered.

ÒAnd Danielle,Ó Mom continued. ÒGet your pajamas on, and get ready for bed. IÕll be up in a few minutes.Ó

ÒOkay,Ó Danielle answered. She went to the dresser she shared with Brenda and pulled open the drawer to get out her pajamas. Looking in, she saw the goody bag from the birthday party, and sticking out, the tip of the red fruit roll-up. Reaching into the drawer, she pulled out her pajamas. Then Danielle hesitated for a moment and snatched out the fruit roll-up. Clutching her pajamas in one hand, and the fruit roll-up in the other, she ran to the bathroom and locked the door.

A few minutes later, Mom came up and knocked on the door. ÒDanielle, are you finished in there? Open the door, and IÕll help you with brushing your teeth.Ó Slowly the door opened and two guilty eyes stared up at Mom. ÒWhatÕs all that red around your mouth?Ó Mom asked, getting a washcloth.

Danielle felt scared. She had eaten BrendaÕs fruit roll-up. She knew what she had done was wrong, but she was afraid of getting in trouble. ÒNothing,Ó she lied to Mom.

ÒIt looks like candy,Ó Mom said, starting to wipe DanielleÕs face.

ÒWhat looks like candy?Ó Brenda asked, suddenly appearing at the bathroom door. She stared hard at her sisterÕs mouth. ÒWhat is all that red around your mouth, Danielle?Ó she demanded. ÒYou ate my fruit roll-up!Ó

Danielle was even more scared. Now she was caught. ÒI did not!Ó she exclaimed with tears in her eyes.

ÒYes, you did,Ó Brenda retorted, and she rushed over to look in the garbage. ÒSee! HereÕs the wrapper!Ó Turning away, she left the bathroom and ran to her bedroom. Tears welled up in her eyes. Why had Danielle been so mean? She had shared the candy necklace with her and been nice, and this is what Danielle did back to her! Brenda sat on the edge of her bed, still holding the empty wrapper.

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Why had Danielle been so mean to Brenda? Why had Danielle stolen and eaten BrendaÕs fruit roll-up? It all started when Danielle coveted BrendaÕs fruit roll-up. She saw it, and wished that she had it. Brenda had already given her a candy necklace, but she wasnÕt happy with it anymore. She wanted more. Her first sin of coveting led to another sin, stealing. And stealing led to another sin, lying. Now BrendaÕs happiness is gone, and so is DanielleÕs. She had thought that eating the fruit roll-up would make her happy, but instead, she is scared, sorry, and unhappy. Sin never brings the happiness we expect it to bring.

But what can we do when we have already sinned? Tell it to the Lord, and ask Him for forgiveness. Ask Him to give you a new heart, a contented heart, one that is happy with what He has given you. When Jesus fills your heart, you will not need other things to make you happy. This is what Paul is talking about when he says: ÒI have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be contentÓ (Philippians 4:11). No matter what happens to him, Paul is saying, he can be happy because he has the Lord in his heart.

Many people in the Bible coveted things that were not theirs. They all discovered that these things alone could not make them happy.

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