What Prevents Us From Encouraging Others?
Bible Character: Barnabas (Paul’s assistant)
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (Which means Son of Encouragement) Acts 4:36 NIV
Barnabas was one of Paul’s helpers in establishing the early Church. He was an encourager of others.
Why do we sometimes fall short in this area?
It’s out of my comfort zone
Maybe its shyness or maybe it feels awkward, or maybe you just let someone else hand out the compliments. Sometimes giving compliments just doesn’t feel natural, and one could wonder if it would be worse if it is forced? Often the awkwardness can be overcome by practice, and sometimes you just need to find ways that it fits your personality. Giving verbal encouragement is not the only way to give support to someone.
I’m too Busy
Sometimes we are simply so busy that we don’t have time to encourage others. Our society is centered on productivity, and often that gets in the way of us having the time to genuinely invest in others. Few minutes in a day can be more valuable than assisting the development of others.
It’s All About You
Here is one that can really sneak up on even the best. Thinking about ourselves first, and others later leads to a self-centeredness that reduces the appetite to advocate for others. When we truly care for others we stop comparing their success to ours and, selflessly encourage their achievements.
When he (Barnabas) arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Acts 11:23 NIV
Barnabas truly wanted what was best for the people and he knew that their relationship with Christ was of upmost importance, and applauded their blessedness.