|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things …” Philippians 4:9 (Amplified Bible)
Our thought for today: “Have a mentor, be a mentor”
Decades ago, at a Promise Keepers conference, I heard Professor Howard Hendricks preach a sermon that has stuck with me and which has influenced me ever since. I don’t remember the actual title of the sermon but I do remember the lesson. It was all about the influence of mentors and the importance of not just having a mentor, but of being a mentor.
I’m paraphrasing but essentially he said, “Every man needs three key relationships in his life: He needs a Paul, he needs a Barnabas, and he needs a Timothy. He needs a Paul – someone who is older and wiser and who will build into his life. He needs a Barnabas – someone who is his equal – a brother who loves him but who is not overly impressed by him. Someone who will speak straight truth to him. And he needs a Timothy – a younger man into whose life he can build.” Paul, was the Apostle Paul. Barnabas was his traveling companion and partner in ministry. And Timothy was a young man whom Paul trained for the ministry.
I believe Professor Hendricks was right. We all need a mentor, and we all need to be a mentor. And, we also need someone in the middle to keep us straight. This is Biblical and it’s an important part of living the Christian life well.
There are many variations of mentoring relationships in life, beginning with parents to children; grandparents to grandchildren; an older man or woman to a younger man or woman; teachers to students; pastors to congregants; and more. Those mentoring relationships take place in families, churches, schools, neighborhoods, work places, youth and children’s programs, and in many other settings.
All this month we will explore the value and importance of the full range of mentoring relationships. We’ll also think about many different ways in which a mentoring relationship can be carried on. Although sometimes those relationships are conducted in formal counseling sessions, the best mentoring and accountability relationships tend to be those that are relaxed and casual – usually carried on in social and recreational settings, and over long periods of time. We will consider all of that.
For now, let me ask you to prayerfully consider whether you have a Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy in your life, and also, if you are a Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy to someone else.
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