Act_9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
Paul was a man who was feared by the Jews. I'm sure many of the Jews did not want to have anything to do with a man who had persecuted other Jews, yet instead of Barnabas shunning him, he took it upon himself to help Paul. (I heard a preacher say years ago that some of our problem in encouraging others may be that we are guilty of wanting all of our converts to Christ to be sort of like us -- we want them to dress somewhat the same, be in the same economic area, and smell good like we do. Well, everyone needs the gospel, not just folks we deem worthy.)
It was Barnabas who saw some good in John Mark when Paul did not want John Mark to travel with them in Acts 15 -- and we learn later that Paul requested that John Mark was to come to him because he learned that he was useful to him in II Tim. 4:11. Do we try to see the good in people? Are we like Barnabas in that we see some good in others and want to encourage them in doing good? Do we encourage new Christians with words or deeds, such as a conversation to get to know them better, or sharing a meal with them? Do we encourage the preacher when he has preached a good lesson from God's word? Do we encourage the elders as they shepherd the congregation? How about the deacons as they fulfill their duties? Do we encourage the elderly with our help, or just listen to them when they are bogged down with physical and medical problems? Do we encourage young parents when they are at worship trying to juggle several children and not make a scene during worship, especially single parents who have no help from a spouse? Do we encourage the parents of teenagers with their unique problems in this day and age? How about Widows? Divorced? Do we include them in our encouragement by words and deeds?
Do we encourage those who are discouraged in their worship and begin to miss services? Do we encourage our young men who take part in the public worship? There's a lot we can do to encourage, and just about all of us can use a little. All of us can be a "Barnabas"! We just need to look around us and we'll see plenty of ways to encourage. We sure like it when someone is a "Barnabas" to us!