There is a line in the old song Home On The Range that I think some people have gotten mixed up. The real line expresses a beautiful sentiment. The song tells us that on the range “seldom is heard a discouraging word and skies are not cloudy all day.” Have you ever known a person who seems to think that ought to go, “seldom is heard an encouraging word and skies are cloudy all day”? I don’t think that it is God’s will for us to be Pollyanna’s and tell others that everything is always wonderful. But where is it written that God has given people the gift of discouragement? Who among us has been called by God to find fault with everyone and everything? If you’ve ever encountered anyone like that you know that such a person does not make people stronger, more joyful, or more hopeful. Quite the opposite. Generally they suck the life right out of every situation and every person they encounter. That person does not bring life to others.
Who wouldn’t want to be like Barnabus? Who wouldn’t want to be a person that brightens every room he or she walked into because every person knows that this individual will bring encouragement and hope? Romans 15:5 says God is the God who gives endurance and encouragement. 2 Corinthians 13:11 commands us to encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Hebrews 10:25 tells us to not give up encouraging one another. What a good idea. How cool if the church were the place where seldom is heard a discouraging word.