Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Be a Mentor

By Robert Guinn

    We all have at least one mentor in our lifetime. It is the person we think of when we close our eyes and hit the rewind button on our mental players when asked the question, "Who has significantly impacted your life?" Perhaps we see the face of the person that taught us the Gospel of Jesus. Maybe we see a teacher that not only taught from their lesson plan, but also taught us about life in some fashion. Depending on our field of expertise, we might see the face of the person that took us under their wing to show us the ropes. In all these circumstances, whether briefly or long-term, we see a person that became to us a wise trusted adviser, or a mentor.
    Why do we value such people? We value them because at some point in our lives, they took the time to invest in us personally. Mentors are of extreme importance as we develop mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Consider the relationship between Paul and Timothy in the New Testament. Probably one of the first things we notice about a mentor is their encouragement. Paul wrote to Timothy saying, "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:1-2, NKJV). Paul, being Timothy's mentor, shows this encouragement by: 

1) Emphasizing a personal bond coupled with a supportive spirit ("my son"),
2) Challenging Timothy ("be strong"),
3) Reminding Timothy about his blessings ("grace that is in Christ Jesus"),
4) Reminding Timothy about his training to this point ("things that you have heard from me") and
5) Emphasizing the challenge to be a mentor to others ("commit these to faithful men").

    How would our lives be if our mentors never took the time to invest in us? The truth is, God has designed the family and the church to be a form of "mentorship", having one generation teach the next. Fathers are supposed to mentor their children in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  Mothers, grandmothers, and "older" women are to guide the younger in what it means to love their families (Titus 2:4). This is why children are to show respect to their parents and other authority figures (Colossians 3:20). In the church, ministers are to proclaim God's word being mindful of the eternal impact their words and actions have on those they are trying to encourage (James 3:1). Elders are responsible for shepherding the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2). All Christians are to help each other spiritually (1 Peter 5:9; Galatians 6:2).
    Each of the aforementioned have some type of role that can be considered a type of mentoring. What happens though if we remove one of these mentors from the equation? Numerous groups and organizations have been formed to help those whose parents were/are non-existent as mentors. Many congregational problems can be traced back to the lack of proper "mentorship" on the part of the leadership and/or others.
    Who was the last person we mentored? Did we encourage them in the direction they need to spiritually go? Do we challenge each other to constantly improve ourselves? Remember what we have been blessed with and how far we have come. Now, it is our responsibility to pass on these blessings to the next generation. Be a mentor for the Lord!

 - Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

No comments:

Post a Comment