Have you ever wished you had an elder brother or sister to guide and help you in an endeavor dear to you? A person to whom you channel all those questions that always fill your mind in an uncertain way?
Well, mentorship is all about that; giving guidance, teaching, and advising. A mentor has to be someone trustworthy as far as the subject matter is concerned.
The word mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Although mentoring does not appear in the Bible, Scripture does give us numerous examples of mentoring. Jethro mentored Moses. Moses mentored Joshua and the elders of Israel. Joshua mentored the other remaining leaders of his army. Eli mentored Samuel. Samuel mentored Saul and David. Ahithophel and Nathan the prophet also mentored David. Elijah mentored Elisha. Elisha mentored king Jehoash and others. Jesus mentored His disciples, and both Barnabas and Paul excelled in mentoring (Acts 9–15).
The cases are numerous. Christianity, more or less, revolves around mentoring. One cannot claim to lead a purpose-driven life if he/she is not mentoring someone or is not being mentored. We all need one another to be able to live a life of purpose. One can have several mentors.
Last week, we looked at the different categories into which the purposeful Christian life is divided. As a recap, we mentioned the spiritual, social, and physical aspects of life. It is possible and imperative that we have mentors in all these areas. We are all growing in one way or another in these aspects. Make sure you have trusted friends who you can always approach for help and counsel.
The Apostle Paul is by far the best Biblical example of Christian Mentorship. Paul spelled out mentoring simply as, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (Philippians 4:9a). In essence, he is saying, “Let me mentor you. Let me be your role model.” He reminds the new Christians at Thessalonica to “follow our example” (2 Thessalonians 3:7). For example, teaching and modeling are all facets of mentoring, which are indispensable in developing fully devoted followers of Jesus and in transmitting the faith from one generation to the next. It goes without saying that if mentors expect others to follow their example, they must be wholeheartedly committed to following Christ.
Now, mentors can be people we interact with daily, and they can be people who are far much removed from our spheres of influence. For instance, Jesus Christ can be our mentor. We can follow His teachings and examples of how He lived while here on earth. Mentors can also be our friends who are much more experienced and have already walked in the path that we seek to walk diligently.
As Christians, for us to achieve purposeful living, we must be ready and willing to have mentors in the following areas:
- The spiritual journey of salvation.
- Romantic relationships.
- Career life.
- Academic life.
The areas are numerous and dependent on the trajectory our different lives take. To lead a purposeful life, we need to be guided and to guide others. Let us, therefore, be open to learning from each other and let us be willing to teach and guide others. Let us choose a life of purpose.
- Acts 9-15
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
- 2 Thessalonians 3:7