Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
When the Apostle Paul first got born again it was not surprising that the believers didn’t want him. He had tormented them and intimidated them; he had imprisoned them and killed them for their faith. He had messed up big time!
Ananias didn’t want to go and minister to him and the church wouldn’t receive him, despite his testimony, but there was one who knew what it was to make a massive mistake and that was Barnabas.
Barnabas was the rich young ruler, whose mistake was documented in all three of the synoptic gospels. When Jesus offered him a place on his team, he turned it down, throwing away the chance of a lifetime to walk with the Son of God on the Earth, but when he saw Paul’s dilemma, he took him and vouched for him among the other disciples.
When the others didn’t believe in him, Barnabas went out on a limb and risked his own credibility to help him. He journeyed alongside him in ministry, all the time taking the lead, until the time came when the Holy Spirit made Paul the leader in Acts 13 and Barnabas stepped back. It is true that Barnabas did not write two thirds of the New Testament, but without him behind the scenes making it happen for Paul, neither would he have done.
Whose restoration is within your power today? Don’t be afraid of people with issues. Just as Jesus was willing to go and touch the lepers, we are called to touch the lives of the broken instead of acting like their bad reputation will taint us.
The hallmark of spirituality is the willingness to help someone else to stand tall, when they can’t do it by themselves. Just as Ziba was sent to fetch Mephibosheth, we too are sent to fetch people who cannot walk on their own. People who have been to jail, or who were divorced too many times to have any credibility left; people who failed and who ran away and quit when they should have stood strong – these are the ones that God has on His heart. How about you?
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your mercy and compassion towards us. Thank you that you never break a bruised reed and you never snuff out a smoldering wick. Thank you that every day I am a recipient of your great love.
Father, show me someone I can lift up today. Whose life can I impact with gentleness and kindness? Who can I vouch for and help today? Right now, I lay hold of the courage I need to overcome my own trepidation and I yield to your will. Thank you, Father, for using me to make a difference.