Later, Barnabas stood up to St. Paul in defense of a young disciple, John Mark,who did not meet St. Paul’s expectations on an earlier missionary journey. Here, St.Paul parted with John Mark, taking Silas on his journeys, and it was Barnabas whotook John Mark under his wing. His objective was encouraging and building a futureleader in the church.
As we read about Barnabas, we see a man who had a close walk with God.
He was willing to give his personal wealth to help the less fortunate.
He was conﬁdent enough in the Holy Spirit leading that he trusted and befriendedthe repentant persecutor of Christians Saul.
He went out of his way to help new believers in their walk with Christ.
He was strong enough to stand up to the dynamic St. Paul, knowing his placewas that of an encourager.
Barnabas fulﬁlled God’s purpose for him as an encourager.3.
Characteristics of an Encouraging Person
The Cup is Always Half Full
- An encouraging person always has a positivedisposition on service and always sees the cup as half full instead of half empty at alltimes, especially in diﬃcult or uncertain times. The encouraging person always has anoptimistic disposition and view on service. The discouraging person is always negativeand sees the service as failing or not meeting their unreasonable and hypocriticalstandards. The discouraging person always points to the negatives and the weaknessesin others.
St. Paul himself was also a great example of an encouraging person, especially laterin his ministry. He always opened and closed his Epistles on a positive note. Healways mentioned people by name and how useful they were in his ministry, and heoften cited their service. He was especially encouraging of a young Timothy, wherehe told him to hold on to his traditions, reminding him of his strong faith.
St. Paul talks speciﬁcally about encouragment in Ephesians 4:29, where he says,“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessaryediﬁcation, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”(b)
Always Optimistic and Supportive of New Services and Ideas
- Anothergreat sign of an encouraging person is their creativity in starting new and ambitiousservices, or expanding existing services for growth and fruitfulness in service. Theencouraging servant always thinks big, and plans services that may seem impossible,whereas the discouraging person loves the status quo and to go backwards. Theencouraging person is always seeking to attain a higher level in their service, to dothings that they have not done before. They love hearing ambitious and creativeideas from others.(c)
Always Seeks and is Eager to Give Words of Encouragement to Others
-The encouraging servant ﬁnds joy in uplifting and comforting others. He ﬁnds joyand spiritual satisfaction in lifting others to a higher spiritual level by his encouraging2