“. . . and he described to them . . .” Acts 9:27
Salvation is an individual event, but not an individualistic pursuit. Each person is offered the opportunity to experience relationship with the Lord Jesus. By faith, a person becomes a Christ-follower. Growing, however, in the Christian life requires the investment of others. Spiritual development doesn’t happen in isolation. We need the Godly influence of others.
Saul needed a mentor. Thank God for the godly presence of Barnabas. He took Saul by the hand and led him into the next season of spiritual growth. The church at Jerusalem was suspicious of Saul and they had reason to be. But, their wariness could’ve gotten in the way of what God was doing in Saul. We must be careful that our skepticism doesn’t hinder another’s spiritual progress.
The example of Barnabas brings into focus our need to be reconciled. Where there is hostility and misunderstanding is where we need to step in as peacemakers. It may mean listening to both, being a safe space to talk out the difficulty. As spiritual mentors, one of our roles is to be a conduit of healing and forgiveness. Growing in Christ and being a channel of mercy are inseparable.
Saul would have been less of a Christian had he not had the care of Barnabas. Each believer is called to invite others into the kingdom and invest their lives in them. Stay with them until they are strong in loving Jesus, learning His ways, and are capable of leading others to do the same.
It will mean giving up the luxuries of gossip, taking sides, and digital slander, innuendo and accusations. It will mean we must be willing to take on the spirit of Christ. And act as a redemptive healing force in the lives of others.
How can you be a redemptive force in the lives of others? Specifically, who in your life needs to be discipled? Begin a spiritual conversation with them today.