Being a True Mentor
Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20 1 Corinthians 11:1 1 Peter 1
As I contemplate writing about mentoring I see how similar it is to discipling, yet I believe there are subtle differences. A disciple maker is one who takes up the great commission of Jesus in (Matthew 28:18-20). We won’t all be asked to Mentor someone, but we have all been commissioned by Jesus to shine His Light into the world around us by word and example and to disciple those who respond to His call. The Apostle Paul writes, “Imitate me as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). He was qualified to say those words from a heart completely sold out to Jesus and a life laid down for Him. The light of the Lord shone through Paul even in captivity whilst chained to a prison wall.
Mentoring is a more specific task. A good parent will mentor their child as they grow, giving good guidance and advice, steering them into good ways with patience and discipline when necessary. A Mentor should not see their task as an opportunity to dominate, but to walk beside the one they mentor, guiding them to attain their end goal.
John C Maxwell summed up the role of a mentor in one sentence:-
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
As a mentor we are not called to impress those in our charge, but to inspire them to achieve their full potential. A mentor will delight in seeing another grow in wisdom and achieve their goal or calling.
When I was a young woman and had walked with Jesus for seventeen years, having received good bible based teaching by two passionate disciple makers (my Pastor and Youth Leader), I was already a fully fledged disciple beginning to disciple others. However, I still had lots to learn as I continued to run the race set before me. At that time God brought into my life an elderly lady who had been through many cruel afflictions in her life. She had been an only child. Her mother was an alcoholic who died when when my old friend was eight. Her father died when she was twelve and her grandparents had all died by the time she was 18 leaving her alone in this world. The Salvation Army came to her rescue and she gave her life to Jesus at the mercy seat. Eventually she married a Christian man. They had three children. Her life had become wonderful when tragically her husband suffered kidney failure and died as their children were entering their teens. As that dear lady reached the end of her story, she smiled and added, “But God has been so good to me.” She told how He had shown her a beautiful sunrise the morning following her husband’s passing. She had heard Jesus’ voice assuring her that He would never leave her nor forsake her.
My dear old friend’s example taught me to find God given strength in times of trial. Looking back now I realise that she became my mentor as well as helping me to continue growing as a disciple of Jesus. She taught me to trust God when trials come. (1 Peter 1). I loved her greatly and I still miss her today. I made it my goal to become like her, seeking to pass on to others the wisdom and courage she had shown to me.
I am now the same age my old friend was when we first met. Her character still inspires me today as I seek to give to younger Christians the same help and encouragement that my dear old friend gave to me.
Prayer: Lord Jesus You see our struggles in times of trial, especially at this time when the world is at a standstill through the ongoing threat of COVID19. You see those who are in deep despair, the desperate and the grieving. Help me to be a beacon of Your light in this seemingly hopeless situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.