Have you heard of Barnabas? Barnabas was one of the early church leaders and was known as an encourager. According to Acts 4:36 Barnabas was born Joseph, but he was known for his encouraging personality. So they called him Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.” Barnabas sold his property, gave the proceeds to the church and traveled with Paul, working with him ministering to the Gentiles.Have you ever known anyone like Barnabas? Some people have the ability to make us feel good about ourselves. I want to be a Barnabas, an encourager; I want to spur on the people of God to achieve the abundant life that Christ came to give us. It’s not something that comes natural to me, but I continually try to work at encouraging people that are in my life. Jesus was an encourager. There are many examples in scripture, but one that comes to mind was a lady who had a problem with bleeding for more than 12 years. In that culture, if a woman was bleeding she was considered unclean and could not be touched by even her own husband. When she had the opportunity to reach out and touch the cloak of Jesus, she took that chance and Jesus looked at this woman that had to be in great despair over this condition and encouraged her by saying, “Take heart, daughter … your faith has healed you” (Matthew 9:22).Jesus was an encourager, Barnabas was an encourager and so should we be encouragers. Do we spend more time pointing out the faults of others than looking for the good? Do we talk more about what we stand against as opposed to talking about what we stand for? We should change that. Let’s be encouragers. People know what they are doing wrong and they know their own weaknesses. They don’t need us to point those things out to them, but many have never heard an encouraging word. Some may go all their life thinking that there is nothing good about them. I’ve heard it said that “God don’t make no Junk.” And I believe it. There is something good about everyone who God has created, and it is our job to find that good and tell them about it. Call a friend or family member that has been struggling and give them a word of encouragement. Tell someone that you appreciate them. Next time you go to a restaurant give the waitress a compliment on her service (and a tip). Tell the checker at the grocery store you appreciate his hard work. Be a son of encouragement.• Lt. Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army in Carson City.
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