Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 25, 2008

Barnabas Winkler

   Barnabas is high on my list of the people I want to meet in heaven. He was a generous man whose real name was Joseph (Acts 5:36-37). But, the apostles called him Barnabas, which means Son of Encouragement. Luke described him as “a good man” (Acts 11:24). We tend to carelessly use words like “good” and “cool” and “awesome.” Luke was a bit more careful. This is the only time in the book of Acts he used the word “good” to describe an individual. So, when he wrote that Barnabas was “a good man,” that really means something! Of all of the people who were caught in the fleeting spotlight of Scripture, Barnabas is the guy who is forever remembered as an encourager and a good man.

   A.C. Winkler is a friend who is now in heaven. I miss him. He was a Son of Encouragement to me and others — a personal Barnabas. A.C. was the kind of guy who would move a mountain of dirt to find an ounce of gold in others. He had a knack for sharing edifying words at just the right moment. His words were always carefully chosen — the kind of words that “give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). But, A.C. wasn’t just about grace-filled words; he was a man whose kindness found expression in practical ways. I will always remember A.C. as an encourager and a good man.

   The world needs more people like Barnabas and A.C. Winkler. There are more than enough mean-spirited people around. I am working on being more like Barnabas and A.C. Winkler — like Barnabas Winkler! Here are a few of the things I observed in A.C. Winkler’s life that can help us to be more encouraging of others.

B = Be a good finder. A.C. looked for the good in others — and always found it. I sometimes wondered if he had X-Ray vision because he could see things in others that I could not see. But, he didn’t. He just chose to look for the good.

A = Affirm the best in others. A.C. always had something good to say. The writer of Proverbs said, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Prov. 25:11). Someone complained, “When I did good I heard it never, but when I did bad I heard it ever.” Affirm someone today by giving them an apple of gold.

R = Rejoice with those who rejoice. A.C. was a cheerleader. He noticed and celebrated my accomplishments, however small. When he added his joy to mine, the world just seemed like a better place.

N = Notice the little things. It’s easy to overlook things in other people’s lives, especially the little things. A.C. was observant. He understood that little things matter to others. So, slow down and take the time to notice the little things that make a big difference in other people’s lives.

A = Assist others in need. Whether I needed help handing out notes at a meeting or promoting an idea among leaders, A.C. took the initiative to help. He always smiled when he helped. He made me smile, too.

B = Build others up. As I searched the mental transcripts of all my meetings with A.C., I found no evidence that he ever talked bad about another person. Instead, he built others up just as he did me. He was consistent.

A = Acknowledge the contributions of others. A.C. found great joy in acknowledging the contributions of others. He was rarely in the spotlight because he always stood behind it, directing its illuminating beam to others.

S = Show love in practical ways. Because A.C. took an interest in me, he noticed and took inventory of my needs. And then, at the right moment, he would bless me with some practical act of kindness. “Take your wife out to eat with this…,” or “I knew you’d like this…” or “I thought you would enjoy this….”


Responses

  1. Omar,

    It is always great to be an encourager for other people and have a great impact in His kingdome.

    You encouraged me a lot. honestly! I am saing this. I am reading you posts one by one.

    Thanks.

    Mortuza.
    Dhaka


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