Depending upon your hobbies, interests or occupation, sooner or later you will meet your match, someone’s whose gifts, knowledge and or skills far surpass that which you possess. Those who are teachable may welcome this, yet the confident and prideful might grow to resent this individual. If you were the rising star and someone starts to outshine you, its a tough act to follow.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), Acts 4:36.
Whenever humility causes my bubble to burst, I look to a man from Cyprus who displayed the proper attitude and maturity. On the surface, Barnabas appears to be someone who didn’t care about his ranking or status in society. When he recognized the potential in a newly converted Saul, Barnabas was the only apostle to extend a loving hand. Early on, Barnabas was the guy, mentioned first by Luke until chapter 13. Whether it was his commitment level, personality or God’s will, Saul who became Paul surpasses Barnabas, playing second fiddle for the remainder of Acts. Despite a major dispute over a potential missionary partner, Barnabas and Paul remained friends throughout their lives.
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus, Acts 9:27.
As talented people enter your life, don’t allow jealousy to ruin these relationships. Rather, emulate the example of Barnabas by embracing, helping and welcoming others to reach their full potential. While you may not taste the same success of your colleagues, accept the role God has given you. Although most want to be like Paul, the center of attention, unless there was a humble Barnabas to come along aside to nurture his new found faith, Paul would have never impacted the world as he did. Play the role God has intended for you, Romans 12:1-2 and let those destined to be stars shine bright.
by Jay Mankus