Parables from North Fork
The Rifleman: The Clarence Bibs Story
— Episode #104
The world is full of people wanting desperately to see Jesus. They are looking to see if we walk and talk and live the way Jesus did. They watch to see if we really are, well, real!
Luke 6:41-42 Living And why quibble about the speck in someone else's eye--his little fault--when a board is in your own? How can you think of saying to him, 'Brother, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the board in yours? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board, and then perhaps you can see well enough to deal with his speck!
Yes, our natural lives will fade as grass does when it becomes all brown and dry. All our greatness is like a flower that droops and falls; but the Word of the Lord will last forever. And his message is the Good News that was preached to you. So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don't just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their backs. Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you, put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for this as a baby cries for his milk.
If we try to be somebody we are not, we will not be effective servants of our Lord.
Anyone here have a counterfeit money story? Counterfeit money is phony money. It looks real enough, and if someone isn't paying close enough attention, one can be fooled by it. But counterfeit money has no real value. And when it is discovered to be fake, it is destroyed.
What about you? What about us? Are we counterfeit or real? In other words, are you whatever you claim to be? If you claim to be a Christian, do you act like a Christian? Or do you just act like one when you think others are watching carefully? We can get into trouble.
The Rifleman: ‘The Clarence Bibs Story’ Episode 104, originally aired 4/4/61
Teacher Reminder: Preview episode before class!
Q. Think of someone you know that, when they talk to you, they just say what they mean. They don’t sugar coat, they don’t exaggerate, they just say it out. Do you know someone like that? And what do you like about them?
Q. (Teacher, if you are comfortable singling certain people out with these questions O.K.)
- If you wanted people to think you were a veterinary, how far could you go with it?
(everything might be fine until you had to work on somebody’s pet!)
- How about a truck driver? Air Traffic Controller? Policeman?
(Movie: Catch me if you Can)
People put on masks all the time, and it’s nowhere close to Halloween.
It really is best to be ourselves. To be someone we are not gobbles up lots of emotional energy. Also, to be someone we are not is hiding our true selves from others. Often times there is some sin issue festering in the background of our psyche, sin that keeps us from truly relaxing, “letting our hair down” with other believers.
In his book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that as believers, we are often afraid of admitting our sin within our Christian community, so we remain alone in our sin. This is true even when we are in a small group. Christians show up to church on weekends, and to groups during the week, wearing masks hiding their pain, fears, failures, and sin. Because they stand alone in their sin, they do not change and they do not grow.
Teacher: With this episode, focus on Clarence’s desire to be someone he is not. He wanted people to look up to him, he wanted prestige. People in town really did like Clarence. He just had a hard time accepting his own lot in life. And he wanted more.
In the early church days, the Jerusalem church was growing rapidly. The Lord used a communal mindset to jump start His great work, and the Church was growing wonderfully, that is, until a man and wife wanted to be people they were not. Their names were Ananias and Sapphira.
(Acts 4:32–5:10 Living) All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing. And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers, and no poverty--for all who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need. For instance, there was Joseph (the one the apostles nicknamed "Barnabas, the encourager"! He was of the tribe of Levi, from the island of Cyprus). He was one of those who sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles for distribution to those in need. But there was a man named Ananias (with his wife Sapphira) who sold some property and brought only part of the money, claiming it was the full price. (His wife had agreed to this deception.) But Peter said, "Ananias, Satan has filled your heart. When you claimed this was the full price, you were lying to the Holy Spirit. The property was yours to sell or not, as you wished. And after selling it, it was yours to decide how much to give. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us, but to God."
As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor, dead! Everyone was terrified, and the younger men covered him with a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Did you people sell your land for such and such a price?" "Yes," she replied, "we did." And Peter said, "How could you and your husband even think of doing a thing like this--conspiring together to test the Spirit of God's ability to know what is going on? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out too." Instantly she fell to the floor, dead, and the young men came in and, seeing that she was dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Look: What are some ways or places people pretend to be someone they are not?
· Tax returns
· Filling out a resume
· Pulled over for speeding
· Doctor’s office
· The dating game
· The Workplace
In the Bible, God sometimes deals quickly with those who put on airs. And he reminds us that regardless of our situation or status in the world, the ground is always level at the cross. We might as well be content; and grow where we are planted!
(James 1:9-16 Living) A Christian who doesn't amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord's sight. But a rich man should be glad that his riches mean nothing to the Lord, for he will soon be gone, like a flower that has lost its beauty and fades away, withered--killed by the scorching summer sun. So it is with rich men. They will soon die and leave behind all their busy activities. Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him. And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes. These evil thoughts lead to evil actions and afterwards to the death penalty from God. So don't be misled, dear brothers.
The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:12 (NIV), I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Do you ever find yourself with a case of the “If onlys?” There may be days you feel like Clarence. Hey, the world needs “mop boys” too. And if we go through life “shootin’ from the hip” we may one day, like the old gunman Tanner, wish that we could trade our life for one like Clarence Bibs.
There are few bad jobs when your attitude is right!