Jul 18, 2023 249
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement (Romans 12:8a).
Encouragement is one of the most wonderful and life-transforming of the spiritual gifts. However, it is also one of the most under-rated.
Joses was so well known as an amazing encourager among the first Christians that he was given a nickname that meant “son of encouragement.” In fact, he was so well known for encouraging others, that most people don’t know his real name. We know him by his nickname, Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.”
This is precisely what Barnabas was renowned for. He was the first person to support Paul before the disciples in Jerusalem, soon after Paul’s Damascus road experience. Later, Barnabas stood beside John Mark when Paul rejected him as an unsuitable companion on his mission, because John Mark had left Paul on a previous missionary journey.
The gift of encouragement is a vital gift for building up others and for building up the church.
The gift of encouragement is like the gift of service. While some people have it in a greater measure, it is a gift that every Christian is to embrace. Paul tells us that as far as the gifts of the Spirit are concerned, believers should,
try to excel in those that build up the church (1 Cor. 14:12.)
The gift of encouragement, that Barnabas exemplified, is a vital gift for building up others and for building up the church.
While there are some people who may be naturally more encouraging than others, the gift of encouragement is one that every person should practice and develop. Think of someone who needs your encouragement this week. Make a plan to do something special and specific for them, for their encouragement.