Let's ponder together these questions:
How can we mentor in ways that are pleasing to God?
How can we be sure the word of God is not maligned in the way we mentor and learn?
One of the most important aspects of mentoring is the motive behind what we are say. Are we mentoring in love, building strong, healthy relationships and sharing authentically, or do we tend to be a self-righteous, bossy "know-it-all" because the attitude of our heart is not right? Do we live what we say? Are we encouraging? Are we trying to point out others' flaws (like Joyce Meyer will put it- are we trying to be "Holy Ghost Jr."?) just for the sake of "being right"?
The most important way to mentor in a way pleasing to God is to LISTEN to God! We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, following His lead. There will be times when He calls us to open our mouths to encourage, but also to rebuke, challenge, train, and correct by His Word (2 Timothy 3:16). But, there will also be times when the Holy Spirit calls us to SHUT UP and just live out our example, loving and serving those we mentor. They will SEE with our deeds. They will learn by our love.
One of the ways to make sure the Word of God is not maligned in the way we mentor is to LIVE what we say. As Titus says, "Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good."
God gave me quite an example over the weekend. My girls and I had a "Girls' Night" because all the boys in our home had weekend retreats. So, my 10 yr. old invited 2 friends and my 8 year old invited a friend and we went off to the Hannah Montana movie. Well, I had purchased the tickets in advance and there was a miscommunication. I thought I bought 5 kids' tickets and 1 adult. The lady behind me and I laughed at how "brave" I was. When we arrived, we running a little late and needed to buy the popcorn and get in quickly before the previews began. The girls were excited and when I handed the tickets to the usher, we were laughing and we didn't notice that I was one short.
But, I noticed in the movie theater. The movie was starting, so I decided to think about it afterwards. At first I kind of brushed it off, thinking that I probably had enough tickets. But, during the movie, I kept thinking it. At one point, I told myself, "Tracy, would you risk losing your anointing, your blessing, your close walk with God for a $6 movie ticket????"
So, as soon as that show was over, we made our way to the manager's desk to pay for the ticket! I told the girls what I had did. What I was showing them was to be honest, even if you "get away" with something. Even if no one else notices, God knows and it is important to do what is right. Living out honesty made much a greater impact than any lecture on honesty ever would. Not to mention, the young girl at the desk who I explained the situation to was "blown away" that a person would actually come up and try to pay for a movie once it was over!
We can't just "talk the talk" but we MUST "walk the walk". And, when we make mistakes (notice I said WHEN not if!), we need to be real and share those as well. Authentic relationships share the struggles and challenges.
One more thought about mentors. Lisa Bevere says she prefers the term "spiritual mothers" instead of spiritual mentors. A mentor wants the person she is helping to do well, but not "too well." A mentor doesn't always want the person to do better than her. Thinking about it in the business world- a mentor wouldn't want the person he is mentoring to do BETTER than him because that person may take his job!
BUT....a MAMA always wants her CHILDREN to do even more than she even did! A MAMA wants her children to have more, do more, be more than she could ever imagine.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3I have written about spiritual mothers here and here also. I hope you have a few minutes to read these as well! Please stop by the well to gain insight and wisdom from many other "Spiritual Mamas". We can learn much from one another!