“Opie and the Bully”
Opie has a problem. A fellow classmate named Sheldon is threatening him on a daily basis. This episode reminds us that we begin facing life’s trials at a very early age. When Opie is confronted by a bully, he learns a powerful lesson of faith and courage. Andy also deals with the fact that he must let his son stand on his own. A wonderful story of a father and son growing up together.
How We Deal with Trouble
Taking Matters into Our Own Hands (Jonah 1:1-3)
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD .
Hiding Our Problems (Exodus 2:11-21)
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"
14 The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known."
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, "Why have you returned so early today?"
19 They answered, "An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock."
20 "And where is he?" he asked his daughters. "Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat."
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.
Asking for Help (Matt. 7:7-11)
7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Hard Times Will Come (James 5:13-16)
13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1. Opie’s situation with Sheldon is not that different from situations we all face today. Sometimes we are presented with problems that we don’t know how to handle. But instead of asking for help, we, like Opie refuse to admit that anything is wrong. What re some reasons that we hesitate to ask for help? What are the advantages of seeking help?
2. We may not be afraid of a “knuckle sandwich,” but we all struggle with fear. Is being afraid something we should be ashamed of? What if our fears paralyze us and keep us from accomplishing anything?
3. Both Opie and Andy had tough decisions to make. Opie had to face the bully, but Andy had to let him go. From this situation, do you see any similarities with our relationship with God, as you have to face trials in the world?