"" Writer's Wanderings: Be A Barnabas

Friday, February 17, 2006

Be A Barnabas

Barnabas, the man who was nicknamed "Son of Encouragement" in the Bible, seems to keep cropping up in my life. A few years back when I needed some real encouragement myself, I decided that you get what you give and tried to "be a Barnabas." It worked. My attitude about people changed when I had to look for the good in them and encourage it.

Encouragement is not just praise. It is also comfort and consolation. It's what helps someone through those despairing times in life.

Barnabas cropped up again when I joined a writers' forum online. I became a part of a group of encouragers. We cheerfully refer to ourselves as the Barnabas Babes. When someone is down due to rejection, illness, stress, you name it, we jump in with words of encouragement and prayer support. On the other hand, we also applaud accomplishments and try to keep the green eyed monster of envy from ruining our honest good-wishes for each other.

Praise is good but encouragement is better. Praise needs you to be successful to be received but encouragement is given rather you succeed or not. Praise is a part of encouragement but if it is the only part, then there is no room for growth. Encouragement urges us ahead despite our circumstances.

In a few weeks I will be giving a talk on encouragement to a group at a womens' retreat. Its title? Be A Barnabas, of course!

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