Barnabas was an encourager. In fact, the name “Barnabas” was actually a nickname that meant the “son of encouragement.” If you were to be referred to by your most visible character trait, what would that be? It’s a pretty humbling thought when we stop to reflect on how we really interact with others on a daily basis.
So how do we become an encourager? Not all of us will have the gift of encouragement the way that Barnabas did, but we are all called to encourage one another. We can think of it like the gift of evangelism (sharing the gospel) or giving. Not all of us are especially gifted in leading others to faith in Christ, but we are all called to share our faith. Not all of us are gifted with the joy of giving way above the tithe, but we are all called to tithe (10%) as a basic start in faithful giving. It’s the same with encouragement. For some, encouraging others might come naturally. For others, it’s more of a challenge. Either way, the Bible tells us that we are all called to encourage and build each other up. So how do we do that?
- Touch. Sometimes a simple touch, a hug, or pat on the back is enough.
- Words. Compliment the good qualities that you see in a person. Let them know that you love them through words of compassion and kindness. And when someone is feeling discouraged, simple words like “don’t give up,” or “you’re not alone,” can make a huge difference.
- Written. Perhaps it’s a simple text or email saying that you’re thinking of that person or praying for them. Handwritten letters are the best.
- Worship. It’s amazing how God uses praise and worship to lift our spirits so that we can better encourage others.
When it comes to encouragement, we never know what’s going on behind the scenes in someone’s life. Who can you encourage this week? A spouse, a child, a colleague? A simple act of encouragement can have a powerful impact for good in a person’s life.