In today’s world, we are told that we as men have to be the strong type, and we have to push each other around. This puts pressure on us and causes some of us not to live up to the ideal that God has in mind for us. Then, as Christians, we are told that we need to be leaders and have a mental strength to lead others, which also means someone has to follow at some point.
This is difficult because how are we to be strong leaders, follow God, and follow others? This leads us to this idea of mentoring that has been abandoned for a lot of people in the Christian world, or at least around me it seems to be.
Now, mentoring is a 2 way street but we as guys need to see the benefit of mentoring. We are called to follow in Jesus’ footprints, to be like Jesus. Luke 9:23 says we have to follow Jesus and lay down our lives, which means that we need to set time to the side to be with our Lord and to be like our Lord.
Why Mentor or Be Mentored?
Jesus set time aside to teach His people and He had people close to him that He showed the way to be like Him. How are those men around us and those people around us supposed to know how to be like Jesus if we do not show these men around us what it’s like to be Jesus?
Now, some of you will argue that your are showing Jesus in your everyday walk which is great and a good start in helping others see him, but I ask you do you really think that is enough? Would you learn from a teacher outside of a classroom if you weren’t getting a grade on whatever they were teaching? Now, I’m not saying we need to grade other men, but the teaching concept is important to note because I know personally that I have a tendency to avoid lessons unless someone is specifically teaching me the concept in a specific setting where I am supposed to learn.
I ask you, be honest with yourself and tell me how much you learned from a random person on the street through their actions? Then, I want to know if you really think that is the best way for you to have learned whatever actions you were trying to learn? It would be better to have the opportunity to ask them questions and be able to be curious wouldn’t it?
We are supposed to be leaders of men and we need to mentor those around us so they can learn how to be like Christ. If we don’t teach them, how are they to learn? There is no reason we can’t set aside a bit of time each week to help one man get a better grip on who our Lord is, and we need to take on this challenge.
The Bible is great, and teaches us, but Jesus didn’t just teach out of the Bible; He taught through his actions in front of his disciples as well as the instruction through the Word. To be like Christ, we need to do the same; we need to teach through the Word to people and through our actions which we can do in a big group or one-on-one.
A Clear Example
This idea of mentoring is also present in the New Testament letters between Paul and Timothy. He takes a personal interest in him and teaches him personally in the letters about Jesus and how his actions should be.
In 2 Timothy 2, Paul tells Timothy that, as he has learned from Paul, he should teach other trustworthy people. Paul was Timothy’s mentor, and then he commands Timothy that he should go on and find others to share his knowledge with.
Paul is passing on this idea of mentoring down the line. He intends for us to spread the message this way because he realizes how important that one-to-one is for a person’s knowledge to grow.
Think of it as a business: in business, you don’t usually begin on top of the corporate ladder. You have to work for others and learn from them to get up the ladder. Then, when you go into business, the people come to you to learn the corporate ladder.
That being said, your business doesn’t work without these workers to build up your business. It’s the same in following the footsteps of the one true God. If we don’t learn from others about how to walk, and teach others, then we are bound to fail at the potential that we all carry inside us.
Be and Do
The Bible is something that was meant to be shared – as can be seen at the very beginning of the Bible. God made a pair of people to live together in God, in His Word. That was the very first mentoring because the man was there first and was the leader in the relationship. We, as men, are supposed to step up and be the leaders of the future generation.
If we don’t step up, who will? If you won’t take on the challenge of helping others, how are they to be saved? If you don’t learn the Word from others, how can you live in the Word? Be a mentor, and, more importantly for many of us, don’t be afraid to be mentored.
Q: What’s your thoughts or experiences with being a mentor or being mentored? Would you recommend this? Why or why not?