He was a good man. -- Acts 11:24
Not a genius. Not an orator. Not possessed with any distinguishing qualities of brilliance. But a good man. That was Barnabas. His record is a brief one, and cites no exceptional achievements. He was meek, gentle, sympathetic, kind. His real name was not Barnabas, but Joses. His brethren surnamed him Barnabas, which means "son of consolation." They recognized him as a man of great heart. He does not appear as a great hero in the apostolic church, but through his simple goodness and humble efforts he wielded a winning influence for the church and was one of the mightiest factors in furthering the cause of Christianity in those early days.
All the world praises clever men. The men the world crowns are the talented originators, the ingenious inventors, the great doers, the impetuous heroes. The men who can lead great movements and put over great enterprises, are the men elevated to the world's pinnacles of renown. But there is something to be said for the men and women who have simply purity and goodness. The man who by a Godly life and example turns loose in society a purifying influence, may not be the least among the world's benefactors. "Some men serve the world by what they are rather than by what they do."
Politically, economically, socially, ecclesiastically, they are ciphers, but as sweeteners of the world's life they are worth more than their weight in gold. Their names never get into the newspapers, but their sanctity pervades the air like a perfume from the gardens of paradise. They attract no attention except in the narrowest circles, but their influence is held in solution in the moral and spiritual atmosphere of the world.
"I have known a few men and women who have done more to make me believe in God and goodness than all the books I ever read," one testifies. I suspect most of us could subscribe to that testimony. We can never be grateful enough to these simple souls who have so influenced us.
When they die, though they leave no fortune or record of startling deeds, they will leave a nobler heritage in the sweet memory of what they were in character and kindness. When you say of one, "He was a good man," you have said the best that can be said of a mortal being. A good man is the world's noblest blessing. He is worth more than all the gold locked up in our bank vaults. Indeed, there is no way of measuring - THE WORTH OF A GOOD MAN.