This week, we’ve been learning how to encourage others. We’ve been looking at the life of a man nicknamed Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. We began by noticing his generosity. We’re told he sold a field and donated the money to help the needy. Have you priced farmland lately? Even a few acres of ground add up to a very significant price! Barnabas was willing to use his property to lift the burden of poverty other Christians faced.
But there’s another way Barnabas encouraged others financially. 1 Corinthians 9:3-6 tells us that Paul and Barnabas were often self-supporting in their missionary work. Listen to Paul’s words, “This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas ? Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living?” (NIV)
You see, Paul and Barnabas didn’t want to be a burden on others. They gave up their right to receive payment from the churches for their work in preaching. As far as we know, Barnabas had never been to Corinth. Yet, even there, he was known as a good man who encouraged others.
Remember, if you want to encourage people, your focus must be on them, not demanding your rights.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.