Posts Tagged ‘critical’

Verses 23-24: “When he [Barnabas] came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.”

I once heard a story about a young woman and a young man who had fallen in love and gotten married. She had a beautiful singing voice, and he was a talented music teacher. The young man tutored his young wife in training her voice, but the music teacher was a perfectionist, and was often negatively critical. After much scolding and rebuking by the husband during his lessons, the wife’s singing voice seemed to suffer. Even more, she began to lose the joy she had taken in singing, and it showed in her voice.

Eventually, the music teacher passed away of a heart attack. After grieving and getting used to life as a widow, the woman met another man, and they fell in love and married. He was an avid lover of music, though not professionally trained or formally schooled. When he found out his new wife had a singing voice, he coaxed her into singing again. Fearful at first, she sang for him; unlike her first husband, the second man was helpful and supportive. If he gave any criticism at all, it was positive and constructive, always bolstered by his reassurance of how beautiful her voice was. He continued to help her in training her voice; he wasn’t a professional, but his helping and loving assistance helped her regain her confidence. Before long, the woman returned to singing in public with the full joy in her voice that she used to have.

Sometimes, the only “help” someone needs is just a measure of encouragement…of someone telling you that they believe in you and in what you are doing. Barnabas’s own name meant “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). The church at Antioch was new, and its believers were eager and sincere; still, any group starting in a new opportunity needs reassurance, and that is why Barnabas was there; to help lead and to help encourage this bold new church, and to fan the flame of Christianity in this north African locale.

We always remember fondly the people who encourage us. My oldest son had a “difficult” teacher in 2nd grade that didn’t know how to handle his personality. As a result, she isolated him from the rest of the class, which really hurt his spirit. God blessed us with a great 3rd grade teacher, though, who worked with my son, to bring out his joy in school and to successfully help him with inter-personal relationships with his classmates. He began to enjoy school again and do well. She was a modern-day Barnabas to us and to a lot of children that came through her 3rd grade class.

Is God calling you to be a modern-day Barnabas to someone who needs a little…encouragement?

Happy Easter!


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