In this respect Barnabas became an example to the modern church worker. In the church there is not so much to be gained by openly and bitterly attacking Christian Science, or Russellism or theocracy or Mormonism or, in fact, any other "ism" that is floating about the country that we have to behold everywhere we go. To say that we are to believe in and accept these heresies is, of course, untrue. In fact, we have no respect on earth for any of the above "isms" or heresies and believe them to be the offspring of the Enemy of all righteousness. But probably a much better way is to show the world that we have something much better than these "isms," and by a genial warmth of spiritual religion melt down the prejudice which stands in the way of the triumph of our holy religion.
Another thing about Barnabas we want to notice is this: He was a man that was big enough to appreciate what others had done. For when he saw the good that others had done and saw the downright goodness in other people or saw a great revival that had just been held by another evangelist, instead of Barnabas throwing any mud or sneers at the other evangelist, he could simply rejoice and his soul was filled with real happiness. For we read that " When the news reached Jerusalem that the gospel was having great success in Antioch, Barnabas was at once selected by the church to go on this mission of inquiry and encouragement."
So we read in Acts 11th chapter 23d verse, "When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad." Some one has said that it was a great window in the character of this beautiful man that we call Barnabas. That when he saw the great revival that was going on at Antioch, and that multitudes of people were being converted, it made him glad and he rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We don't read that Barnabas, when he saw the work that was done, tried to throw a wet blanket over it and look on with a kind of superior critical eye and give them to understand that if he had done the preaching the work would have been much deeper and more thorough under his preaching than what he could see had been done there. No thank the Lord, Barnabas didn't do that, but we read that he joined in with them in the happiest and most beautiful spirit, and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this Barnabas was different from many men that we meet. Sorry to say, some good men, it seems, can never detect goodness in other people. And because they did not have a hand in the revival themselves, they are most reluctant to give the credit to others. Thank the Lord, it was not so with Barnabas. Something must be radically wrong when such a disposition is manifested. A good man longs to see people converted any time, and under the preaching of anybody, and anywhere on the face of the earth. For we all admit that a good man hates wickedness because it grieves God and hurts men and when he finds good being done, no matter who is doing it, or who is going to get the credit for it, he rejoices. Surely anything that will make the angels in heaven rejoice ought to make good people happy down here. Again, we notice further that Barnabas was kind and gracious and entirely free from any disposition to push himself to the front.
So true was this that you will notice he was called "the son of consolation," or "the son of exhortation." I believe some one has said that this same word is used for the one and for the other. For from this word we can judge somewhat of the character of this man's preaching. It was running over with comfort. His sermons were tender and consoling and stimulating, rather than convincing. He aimed to reach the heart rather than the head. He was probably not what you would call a great preacher. He did not possess the commanding gift of St. Peter, or the splendid eloquence of the young Apollos. Neither did he possess the logical reasoning of St. Paul, but he knew the way to men's hearts, and this is a most necessary qualification in a minister's life. In these awful days when people are being fairly crushed with the cares and burdens of life and hearts are bleeding with sorrow, and the whole world is groaning because of sin, what we need in our pulpits is not a rehash of the daily papers. We know that information such as is gathered by the great news companies has a place in the world, but what we need in our pulpits is a message of love and tenderness and comfort that will cheer and encourage the people in the struggle of life.
Robinson, Reuben A. (Bud). The Collected Works of 'Uncle Bud' Robinson