Question: Does the book of Acts talk about a man named Barnabas? Most people who read the Bible would answer “Yes.” And indeed a scripture search for “Barnabas” will turn up many results. But this was not the man’s name. One of those passages clearly states that he was actually Joseph. There’s a great lesson here.
The word Barnabas means “Son Of Encouragement.”
Let’s reconstruct the situation. It must have been that there was a guy named Joseph who had such a positive influence on others that they began to refer to him as Barnabas, The Encourager. And it stuck so well that divine inspiration followed suit. That’s pretty amazing.
It’s also a reason to ponder. If the way people are addressed reflected character rather than education or position, I wonder if we’d see any changes. Perhaps some “Reverends” would have to forego the title. (In my opinion, they should anyway, but that’s a topic for another day.) Would every “Doctor” be known as a healing one? Etc.
Like any lesson, this one is best when applied personally. So I need to think about what I might be called. I know my goals in that regard. Let me keep working on it.