Smiley - that was my nickname in high school. When every guy on my basketball team hadhis picture taken by the local newspaper, everyone put on the "tough guy expression." Except me. I was the goofy guy smiling from ear to ear. The nickname was easy and it stuck. I became known as Smiley. I'm actually proud to be known as Smiley because it sort of captures who I am - a positive, happy, goofy guy who refuses to grow up.
One of my favorite nicknames in the Bible belongs to a guy named Joseph. He had the cool nickname of Barnabas, "son of encouragement." (Acts 4:36) If I could trade my nickname, Smiley, for another name, I'd definitely choose Barnabas, son of encouragement.
I like encouragers - they lift people up and they make their corner of the world a better place. Let me encourage you to try your hand at being a son or daughter of encouragement by doing these five simple things everyday:
- See God at work around you
- See possibilities in others
- Choose to be positive
- Be a person of integrity
- Point out the good in people
The good news about being an encourager is it takes no special talent. You don't need money. You don't need a special skill. You just need to be willing to invest in people - lift them up and build their hearts. It's almost as easy as smiling!
Who has been a Barnabas in your life? Leave a comment and tell me about your "son of encouragement."