Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Choosing Encouragement Over Accusation

The name Satan is derived from the Hebrew verb saten which means “to accuse”.  We get a sense of how Satan earned his name by looking at the book of Job.  In Job 1 & 2 we are given a glimpse into the heavenly court.  The court is discussing God’s servant Job who looks to be a righteous man, but Satan brings the accusation that Job’s righteousness is superficial.  In Zechariah 3:1-2 God rebukes Satan for making accusations against Joshua the high priest.  Accusations attempt to destroy or bring down the life of another.  Accusations can destroy the reputation of a politician.  Accusations can end friendships.  Accusations can ruin a company.  Accusations can disrupt the body of believers.  As the people of God we must stand against the accusations that are hurled against us, and we must refuse to stoop to the level of satan and become the accuser.

In the book of Acts we learn about a man named Barnabas.  Barnabas was not an accuser.  In fact, you could say he was the opposite of that.  He was an encourager just as his name implies (the name Barnabas means encourager).  Barnabas went on one of Paul’s missionary trips along with John Mark, but during the middle of this trip John Mark decided to return home.  Paul and Barnabas finished the trip, but when it came time to go on another missionary trip Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, but Paul refused.  It would have been easy for Barnabas to bring accusations against Paul, but he did not.  Instead Barnabas took John Mark on a mission trip, and Paul took Silas.  Years later when Paul was writing some of his letters he would describe John Mark as “useful” (2 Tim. 4:11) and call him his “fellow laborer” (Philemon 24).  This situation could have turned out very differently if Barnabas chose to accuse instead of encourage.  May we all stand against Satan by refusing to accuse and follow the example of Barnabas who chose to encourage.

“Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.”  Elizabeth Harrison


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