I was never the super popular kid in school. But I also wasn’t the most unpopular. I was somewhere between lower-middle & upper-lower in terms of the social ladder. I had enough friends to talk with but got nervous at lunch when it came to picking where to sit and didn’t really have a ‘crew’.
Then I met Eric.
We hit it off fairly easily and had similar senses of humor. We got each other. And we remained friends throughout middle school and most of high school until he moved. He was the person I would hang out with, going over to his house in the summer and having sleepovers.
More importantly, we would occasionally have serious talks about navigating the social intricacies of our teenage years and trying to figure out what’s important and what’s not. Eric and I would encourage each other and were there for one another.
Barnabas is first mentioned in Acts 4 and his name literally means ‘Son of Encouragement’. He was a gifted man who helped the early church and its leaders. He was dependable & there to be the consistent person for them as the early Christians were figuring out life with a resurrected & ascended Jesus.
As you work toward a life free from pornography & lust, you will need people by your side. We’ve talked about your Paul who pours into you & helps you navigate life’s difficult questions. However, it’s also important to have some Barnabases.
From age 12 to 17, Eric was my Barnabas.
You need to find at least 3-5 Christian men who can encourage you, share life with you, and be there for you when you need them.
A Barnabas is someone who will help you move a sofa when you need it, but also talk about the struggles you’re having with the kids . . . and you end up praying for each other at the end of the phone call.
A Barnabas is more than just a friend or acquaintance. It’s someone that knows your struggles, celebrates your triumphs, and you spend a lot of time laughing with.
Assess your life.
Look around and find a couple of Barnabases.
Be intentional with them. Get to know them and proactively share life.
Encourage each other, and every now and then, move some furniture together.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- Who are your Barnabases right now in life?
- What do you need to invest in those relationships? Be intentional.