I once heard it said: Everyone needs to be a Paul to someone (meaning ‘to be a mentor’), a Timothy to someone (meaning ‘to be a mentee’), and a Barnabas to someone (meaning ‘to be an encourager’). Interesting. Who are you a Barnabas to?
Barnabas is introduced to us in the Bible as ‘a son of encouragement.’ What could that mean?
Did he see a cup half full while another saw it half empty?
Did he light a candle when the one next to him cursed the darkness?
Did he say, “There should be another way to see it and try it” rather than saying “It cannot be done”?
Did he plead with church leaders to give one Saul of Tarsus a chance rather than return him to Judaism because of his rap sheet?
Did he get down to the level of someone very discouraged or broken and help them get back on their feet while others stood passed by and didn’t want to be involved?
Did he see young people try something creative and cheered them on rather than waiting for the experiment to end up as a catastrophe?
The world has its share of discouragements and discouragers. It seems natural for some to throw a wet blanket over any positive possibility – in homes, relationships, communities, churches, and wherever more than one human being is around. What does God say? I Thessalonians 5: 11: Encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. Hebrews 10: 24, 25: Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his (Jesus’) return is drawing near.
I have been blessed by a timely encouraging word of many friends – at home, church, neighborhood, stores, airplanes, new places, and pray the Holy Spirit to fill me so that I can be full of His encouragement to otherwise discouraged souls, especially through today’s world. Would you like to be a Barnabas?