Some people in the church seem to have the spiritual gift of discouragement. It’s all that guy can do – discourage others. Truthfully, we are all “that guy” far too often. We find it far easier to complain and view circumstances negatively than positively. So, when a person embodies encouragement, we notice. The apostles took note of a such a man named Joseph. They recognized that he was no ordinary Joe. They called him Barnabas instead, which translated means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36).
The church and her saints grew quickly when Barnabas encouraged people. We know from 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 that when it comes to growth, some plant, others water, but only God causes the growth. Encouragement serves as one form of watering.