“But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.”
One of the greatest people in the Scriptures who is often not brought up when talking about the great saints of old is Barnabas. Every Gentile owes Barnabas a great debt because if it were not for him, Paul likely would not have been accepted by the church, which means he likely would have never become the great missionary to the Gentiles that he became.
The greatest attribute of Barnabas was that he was a believer in people. When nobody wanted anything to do with Saul, it was Barnabas who was willing to risk his life to help nurture the young believer in the ways of the LORD. When John struggled with faithfulness, it was Barnabas who believed that John would eventually become a great tool in God’s hand. Much of the New Testament is available because of Paul and John, and had Barnabas not believed in them and worked with them when nobody else believed in them, we may have never received the parts of the Scriptures that God used these men to pen. One of the greatest needs in the church today are people like Barnabas who believe in people when they are not polished tools. Let me share a few things it takes to be like Barnabas.
First, you can’t be afraid to work in the shadows. Barnabas never needed the limelight, and people whom God is going to use to help build others must be willing to work in the shadows. You will never become a believer in people if you must always get the credit for the work accomplished.
Second, you must always believe in people. Never lose the belief that people can be used of God. Let me remind you that the people Barnabas believed in were people who were already saved. You cannot cast people aside when they’ve fallen and expect them to get up on their own. It is always better to believe in someone and be disappointed than to never believe in people and let sin destroy them.
Third, you must always be willing to give people another chance. Those whom you put your energies into to help will often disappoint you, but you must be willing to give people another chance if you are going to be successful in building people’s lives. Most people are going to mess up more than they do right in the beginning, and that is why you must always be willing to give people another chance. If you quickly give up on people when they mess up, you will never be successful in being a tool in God’s hand to build people.
Fourth, you can’t be concerned with what others think about you. You will find that you will often be criticized for believing and investing in those whom others have cast aside. If you must always have the approval of those around you for what you do, you will find that you will never be a tool in God’s hand to restore the fallen and build the lives of those who have been saved out of a life of wickedness.
Fifth, you MUST be filled with the Holy Ghost. The greatest reason Barnabas was used to rebuild John and Saul was because he was filled with the Holy Ghost. When you are yielded to the Holy Ghost, you will find it easy to believe in people whom God knows what they can become because the Holy Ghost will control your mind. My friend, if you want to be a believer in people and be a builder of people, you must be filled with the Holy Ghost.