Godly Relationships: Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy
“And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus” Acts 4:36 (NKJV)
“The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV)
I was once advised by a Christian friend to seek, pray, and find a Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy. This was godly advice so I now want to pass it on to you. Having a spiritual advisor, an encouraging peer, and a new believer whom YOU mentor might not occur all at the same time. However, if you have walked a strong Christian walk for more than ten years, I hope you have all three of these people in your life.
The privilege of sitting under the covering of a believer who is far wiser than you in spiritual matters is a mighty blessing. God is our ultimate counselor, and the Holy Spirit will always teach, guide, and direct us. But a person of flesh, who has gained knowledge and insight through personal trials and victories, is another prize altogether.
God created us for relationships. The Body of Christ is the church, not the building itself, but the people within and attending services. The Lord will teach us through others. Indeed, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God “ (1 Co. 1:3-4 NKJV). If someone in the church has faced and persevered through a struggle, it encourages others going through similar trials to hear of their victory.
A Paul is someone who will lovingly speak the truth to you, even at the cost of hurt feelings. You grant them this liberty. This relationship is one of respect and honor. He or she will be a teacher first and a friend second, as you have entrusted them with authority and position over you. You acknowledge their insight and knowledge and ask them to share it with you. They are a mentor.
Barnabas is known for being an encourager. In fact, Barnabas’ given name was Joses (Joseph) but the apostles gave him the name Barnabas, which means “Son of Encouragement” or “ Son of Exhortation” (Acts 4:36) What joy he must have had in sharing just the right words of hope and lifting the spirits of those around him. It is a wonderful blessing to share words of encouragement! We all need encouragers in our lives. People who spur us on to do good works for Christ.
Then there is the Timothy relationship. A prospective Timothy is….
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