1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy once said, “There is a fool-proof way to know who around you needs to be encouraged; here it is: that person is breathing. If they are breathing, they need encouragement.”  This is so true today!  In the book of Acts, we learn about one individual who had the gift of encouragement.  His name is Barnabas, and almost every time he shows up, he is encouraging others.  From his life we can learn 5 ways to give courage to others: 

  1. Barnabas chose to live with a generous attitude: He sold a field and gave the profit to God’s work.
  2. Barnabas set an example:  He gave publicly, and it set an example to others.
  3. Barnabas saw others’ potential:  He vouched for Paul when others did not know if they could trust him.
  4. Barnabas pointed out people’s progress:  When he visited Antioch, he celebrated the work God was doing there!
  5. Barnabas looked past people’s failures:  He was willing to give Mark a second chance after he failed on a previous missionary journey. 

How about you?  We are living in a time where it is easy to critique.  How have you actively built others up?  Do you have the gift of encouragement?  Who in your life needs encouragement today?

Take a few moments to read and reflect on the life of Barnabas in Acts 4, 9, 11, and 15.  Look at how God used him to encourage others to follow Jesus with their whole hearts.  How can you grow as an encourager today?