Early in my walk, as a Christian, I really didn’t have a mentor. I did have a few people in my life I could ask questions of… and they didn’t look at me as a fool. They understood that I was growing. But, I didn’t have anyone who took me under their wing and helped guide me on my walk.
Now, much later in my walk, I have several mentors in my life. I recently was meeting with one of them. We were talking about the book of Revelation and the churches listed in Chapters 2 & 3. We were discussing how these different churches mirrored our current world….. the attitudes not just of countries but even of our churches today.
The church in Ephesus had the head knowledge but not the heart knowledge. They kept up the beliefs, the traditions, etc…without understanding why. It was empty. They were on auto pilot. Serving Jesus without loving Jesus.
It was then my friend, and mentor, mentioned how important it was that we have mentors in our walk from very early on. Without a mentor we can allow ourselves to get caught up in the rules, the deeds, the work of our faith without actually having real faith. We know all the things we should do and shouldn’t do, but yet we don’t really understand the why and more importantly the WHO behind it.
As we continue to grow in our knowledge, without a mentor to guide us, we can end up just like the church of Ephesus. We will have the head knowledge without the heart knowledge. And then eventually we become like the pharisees. We stand firm and strong in our righteous knowledge, without loving the least of these…. the poor in spirit, the broken, the lost.
Mentors help us to see the bigger picture. They help us to learn from their wisdom and experience that our impact on others has to start from a place of love. Loving them in spite of their faults, not excusing them. But understanding that we have to start from a place of love and not condemnation.
When you first love a person, taking the time to get to know them and understand them, you build your credibility with them. They learn to trust you. Trusting that you really care for them and this isn’t just your attempt to add another success story to your book of people’s lives that you have changed.
In your attempts to share the Gospel, a mentor reminds you that it is not your job to change them. But to love them. The Holy Spirit will change them. Your greatest testimony comes from your example. We have all know of people who were considered “great” and looked up to, and the moment the truth of their depravity came out… it contradicted all the good they had done.
A mentor tells you to focus more on making yourself better, your walk better, your testimony better than trying to change others. In fact, dear one, YOU are not as big of a part of their testimony as you think. In fact, you are quite insignificant to the transformation that Christ does in them.
My mentor told me that she can tell relatively quickly when someone has been mentored or not. You can see it in their attitude towards others.
If you don’t have a mentor, maybe it is time to find one. In fact, you may need more than one.
Wondering how to find a mentor?
1) Pray. Pray that God will reveal the person to you.
2) Let Go. Let go of all the preconceptions of what a mentor should be. Do not base it on age, years as a Christian, family size. I remember once a woman in the church came to me for advice on marriage. She was much older than I was, and I was caught off guard. I found out as we talked, that she had only been married a few years. While I was significantly younger than her, I had 10+ more years of marriage experience than she.
3) Be Open. Be open to having just one mentor, or more. God will bring those whom you need, don’t turn away wisdom because you “already have one”.
4) Talk to your Pastor or his wife. If you need mentorship in a specific area, they may know just the right person for you.
5) Don’t Give Up. You may try out a mentor relationship & it just isn’t working. That is ok, you can change mentors. But make sure you are changing them because it’s not the right fit… and not because they are saying things you don’t want to hear.