There are times when our spiritual battery runs low and we need an encourager to come alongside and recharge us. AND there are times when we come can come alongside a brother or sister put courage into them.
William Barclay said “One of the highest of Christian duties is encouragement. It’s easy to pour cold water on other’s enthusiasm; it’s easy to discourage people. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a Christian on his feet.”
In the book of Acts we meet a Christian who was such an encourager, he was given the nickname “Son of Encouragement,” or Barnabas in Greek. Barnabas was a person who you felt good being around. He believed in the potential of people and was willing to give a failure a second chance.
The first mention of Barnabas is at the end of the 4th chapter of Act where he sold some real estate and gave the money to the Apostles. Later he stood up for Paul when others rejected him. You see, Paul had been persecuting the church in Jerusalem and the apostles thought Paul was setting a was a trap. Barnabas was willing to risk his own safety and reach out to someone who had absolutely NO friends in the Church. He was willing to look beyond the past and believe in Paul... and befriend him.
Barnabas became an advocate and mentor to Paul taking him on missionary journeys and helping Paul become a great leader. He did the same thing for John Mark. When Paul refused to work with John Mark because of a past failure, Barnabas took him under his wing.
Thanks to Barnabas' encouragement John Mark was restored to useful ministry. Paul agreed. He wrote to Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:11
Are you willing to give someone another chance after they have failed you? James tells us that we “should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19)
There are people all around us who need someone to believe in them. Like Paul they may have made some pretty bad mistakes & have a bad reputation. They need a friend and encourager. They need a Barnabas.
- A Barnabas always has great things to say about their church, the kingdom and the Lord.
- A Barnabas helps a person who's down find a silver lining in the dark cloud
- A Barnabas loves people without labeling them
We have all needed someone who would help when we’re down.
- Someone who would be there to encourage us,
- Someone who would have faith in us.
- I thank God that He sent a Barnabas into my life during those times.
We can honor the encouragers in our lives by encouraging others
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)