There was a man in the early church named Joseph, whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Apparently this man was so encouraging that he was given a nickname that reflected the way that he constantly lifted up others in various ways.

This causes me to think about what kind of nicknames would be given out to Christians today, based on their habitual attitudes and actions. Might there be a “daughter of discouragement” in your congregation? Could someone be called the “son of impatience” or the “daughter of gossip”? Would some be known as “son of dissension” or “daughter of division”? Perhaps some would be labeled “son of laziness” or “daughter of indifference”? The list could go on and on.

Here’s a scary thought—what would people call you if your nickname were based on how you act most of the time? Would it be a positive thing or a negative one? I just thought it would be worth our time to reflect on this.  

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