I have benefitted enormously from being mentored in the past by a more mature believer at my local church. And being mentored can happen in a variety of ways: Bible study, reading through a Christian book, or just sharing your week with each other. But the one common thing to all mentor relationships is the desire to see the other person grow in their faith. Here are some reasons why you should spend time in being invested in by someone else:
- The Bible tells us to.
Paul was a mentor to Timothy, giving him theological training and wisdom but also practical advice (1 Timothy 5:23). And as well as modelling the mentorship pattern, Paul instructs others to follow his example (Titus 2:1-8). So this is something that we should be keen to do in order to replicate the Biblical model. Seek out a mentor yourself and be on the lookout for younger Christians who could benefit from spending time with a more mature Christian.
- They can share wisdom and life experience.
Many of the things that I talked about with my mentor were issues that I thought only I had. Or at least, I didn’t see others struggling with. It’s great to find out that you’re not alone and that someone else has faced your particular problem and come out the other side. Walking through life with another person who’s further along the path can help you avoid pitfalls and make wise choices.
- They can see things you can’t.
We all have blind spots. Sometimes your mentor will ask you a question that you’ve never considered, or point out an area in your life that needs to be corrected. Criticism can be hard to take, but when others speak the truth in love to us it can be of immense value. As Winston Churchill said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary.”
- Sometimes we best learn Christlikeness from others.
God speaks to us primarily through His word. And there is no substitute for spending time in Scripture and in prayer. This is the way that God chooses to shape and mould us to become more like Jesus. But often it is helpful to see what Christlikeness looks like in someone else.
Michael Shaw is the Editor of Cornerstone Network. You can follow him on Twitter @MichaelShaw_1