I've begun my series on encouragement by discussing how we can encourage others. The law of sowing and reaping comes into play - if you encourage others, you will be encouraged.
One of the people we can learn from regarding encouragement is Barnabas:
Joseph, a Levite and a Cypriot by birth, the one the apostles called Barnabas, which is translated Son of Encouragement,
I looked this up in several translations. Most call him the son of encouragement, but others call him the son of comfort, son of consolation, one who helps and one who exhorts.
He's mentioned 33 times in the bible. Nearly all those times he was a helper in the sharing of the gospel. He sold his property to help the early church. He did have a disagreement with Paul, mainly because he wanted to champion John Mark whom Paul had a hard time forgiving for deserting the cause earlier. (Paul eventually did forgive John Mark.)
Only once did Barnabas get a bad rap. Barnabas was a Levite by birth. He had a hard time letting go of the rules that had been drilled into him since birth. He ate with the Jewish leaders instead of with the Gentile Christians when a delegation came to observe the work Paul and Barnabus was doing.
Despite that, Barnabas left a legacy of encouragement. He was known as the SON of encouragement. To me, this meant he was like a son to the apostles. His very close relationship to them all reflected encouragement and comfort to them.
Perhaps being a son of encouragement meant that encouragement was born in Barnabas ... he just couldn't help but be an encourager ...
What a great goal for every child of God today - to be known as a son or a daughter of encouragement!
I am part of over 1000 bloggers participating in a 31 Day writing challenge. You can link up at The Nester's blog, The Nesting Place.
I'm also sharing at Jennifer's "God-Bumps and God-Incidences" at her blog, Getting Down With Jesus