|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures.” Romans 15:4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The influence of good writing”
We began this month of devotionals about the influence of a mentor by considering the teaching of Professor Howard Hendricks, that each of us should have in our life a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy. We should have an older person who is wise in the faith and who will serve as a mentor for us. We should have at least one person who is on a par with us – someone who loves us but is not overly impressed by us, and who will give us straight talk when we need it. And we should have at least one Timothy – a younger person into who’s life we are building.
However, as we age, having a Paul can become an increasingly difficult thing. The older you get the harder it can become to find someone older than you who will serve as your mentor. Since you yourself are, well, you’re old, that means the potential pool of Paul figures are all dying off and going to heaven. So, while there will still probably be some Barnabas figures around, and lots of Timothys, your choice of Pauls continues to diminish with time.
This is where a mentor in writing can be so helpful. Regardless of our age or level of spiritual maturity, we can learn a lot from authors whom we’ve never even met. An author can serve as a mentor of sorts, even though you cannot physically be with them. I can’t begin to calculate how much my life has been shaped by the writing of some of my favorite contemporary Christian authors like Henry Blackaby, Eugene Peterson, John Eldridge, Dallas Willard, Billy Graham, Philip Yancy, Brennan Manning, Henry Nouwen, Richard Foster, and Chuck Swindoll. Then there are those from previous generations such as Saint Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and A.W. Tozer.
In all of those cases I’ve so identified with those writers that I’ve read virtually everything they’ve written, and consequently, the Lord used them to guide me in my spiritual growth. So, in effect, they have been mentors for me too.
The best mentors are the ones we can actually be with. But there are other ways to learn from, draw on the wisdom of, and be shaped by the guidance of others. A mentor in writing can be one of those ways. The Lord has blessed us with many great Christian writers down through the ages. I’ve listed just a handful of them above. There are many hundreds more. I encourage you to explore their writings and allow yourself to be influenced by them.
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