Cover 2019-03-03

Ron Writes

The Barnabas Factor

In thinking about Jim Bradshaw’s Wednesday night class on encouragement, there are several key points I’ve come away with:

BE THERE

When the church began, where was Barnabas? (he was in Jerusalem and sold his property to take care of those in need). When the church was scattered where was he? (with the church in Antioch). When the church in Antioch needed help where was he? (he went to Tarsus to find Paul and he brought him back with him). Where was he when they needed missionaries? (he volunteered). When Mark needed support, where was he? (he was with Mark). Where was he? He was always there with the church. What does this tell us about encouragement? It starts with our presence.

There are times in all of our lives when we need courage. Alcoholics Anonymous is known for its life changing meetings. How does it work? It starts with showing up. It’s the mutual support and encouragement to stay sober one more day. The energizing core of the church is the time members are together. If the church is losing its power and effectiveness, it might be from our unwillingness to be with one another more often.

LISTEN

In the controversy that developed between Paul and Barnabas, do you think that Barnabas thought that Mark was innocent? I’m sure he realized what was going on. However, he also saw potential. With patience and forgiveness he was able to help Mark realize his fullest potential in Christ. We are often too quick to be judgmental, have glib answers or write people off. We must develop understanding. We are all going through struggles of some kind. We all need those who are able to just listen.

COMPLIMENT MORE THAN CRITICIZE

Why do we know more about what we’re “against” than what we believe. Can we talk about sin without dehumanizing the sinner? What good does it do to win the argument, but lose the relationship? Add anger to the mix and it will end in disaster. Words make a difference! We must learn to show love and acceptance especially to those we disagree with. We must learn to show love with our words.