Some people always have to be first. Do you know someone like that? Always rushing to be first in line or cutting you off in traffic? Always sharing their opinions, even cutting others off? Or maybe you know someone who is always taking the credit at work or school, even though they didn’t do much for the project. Not very encouraging, is it?
One of the interesting things about Barnabas, is his ability to lead or follow. Notice how he is listed first in Acts 13:1, “In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.” (NIV) The church sends Barnabas and Saul on a missionary journey. Up to this point, Barnabas has always been listed before Saul. He was the leader. But that changes later in the chapter. Saul, who had started using the Greek version of his name, Paul, is listed first. Paul had become the leader.
This tells us that Barnabus was comfortable playing second fiddle. He loved to come alongside people and encourage them. He loved to see them grow and develop and take the lead. You can’t be a control freak or attention hog if you want to encourage others! One way to encourage another is to let them take the lead. Who will you encourage today?
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.