Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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My daughter was all excited about the sign she saw at the airport. It was actually over the door at a terminal, and it simply said, "Through these doors pass the greatest employees in the world." She said, "You know, Dad, that would make me feel like I was really doing a good job if I came under that every day." It's something you want to live up to, you know. And she's right. Now, I hope you're posting the right kind of sign.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "I'll Become What You Call Me."
Well, our word for today from the Word of God is from Acts 4, and I'm going to read beginning at verse 36 where a man gets a name change. "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet." Now, notice Joseph becomes Barnabas, The Encourager.
We read about him on several occasions in the book of Acts, not the least of which is when he came with Saul of Tarsus, who had just come to Christ. Now, remember, Saul had been persecuting the church. He was like public enemy number one for the Christians. But, "When Saul came to Jerusalem," Acts says, "he tried to join the disciples, and they were all afraid of him. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles." This is the kind of thing Barnabas does throughout his ministry. He goes on to encourage new Gentile believers in Antioch, and nobody's quite sure about them. He rehabilitates Mark when Paul fires him.
The point is, the apostles called Joseph an encourager, and he just kept living up to what they called him. That's a principle of human behavior. We tend to become the name we're called. That airline seems to know that, "Through these doors pass the greatest employees in the world." If you call them that, maybe they'll live up to it.
That means you have at your disposal a powerful tool for building people, or a destructive weapon for tearing them down. For example, what names do you call your son or daughter? How many times have you said stupid, or lazy, or rebel, or problem? Well, you're programming them with ideas about themselves, and they may then go on to just prove you right.
Think about what you've called your husband or wife lately, or that person who frustrates you; that person who's so irritating, so negative. You can help change a person if you'll look for their strengths and tell them what you see. Call them that good thing. Find a name you can use to bring out their best. Maybe that person, for all of their weaknesses, all of their negativeness, maybe they're obnoxious, but are they generous? Maybe they're sensitive, they fight for their family. Maybe they're a person of conviction; they're organized. Maybe they have a great smile, or a great spirit, or a budding talent.
Would you tell them what you see? Would they make a great Christian if they turned their mind and talents toward Christ? Sometimes I've said that to people. With a mind like yours, with gifts like yours, oh what a great follower of Christ you would be. Tell the people around you what they could be with the strengths that are there, even if you only see a little bit of it. Because by naming it, you can nurture it.
Look at those people close to you as if they were wearing a big old sign that says, "I'll become what you call me."