In the ancient Church among the earliest community of Christians there was a man named Joseph, also named by the Apostles, Barnabas meaning “son of encouragement.” The reason for the change in name is not given, but I wonder whether Barnabas’ willingness to sell a “piece of property” and put the money “at the feet of the apostles” encouraged other believers to do the same. The word “encouragement” implies giving others courage, which may be necessary when parting with finances—or parting with other things like our time, our desires, our convenience.
Look for opportunities to be a son or daughter of encouragement. Take courage yourself to give up something important to you. Encourage others to step out in social action. Help with fund-raisers. Say an encouraging word to those who need a little push. With such deeds we become not only sons and daughters of encouragement but also fathers and mothers who pass on an inheritance of encouragement.