Mentoring – Part Four

We are looking at the basic six reasons that every believer needs a mentor and why every believer should be mentoring someone on a regular basis. So far we have see:

1> Jesus did it, and He told us to do it as well

2> We will find greater and deeper meaning and fulfillment in life when we mentor others

3> It will sharpen you and help keep you sharp and living on the growing edge of Christian life

Let’s look at the remaining three this time around

4> Mentoring will make you more grateful

Mentoring others either individually or as a group will only be successful if it is done from the overflow of gratitude from a grateful heart. Many Christians will hear a sermon or read a book and be motivated by the desire to “be good” to do something good. Others will feel guilty for their past lives, saying, “You know, I owe God so much, I want to pay Him back.” Still others may be motivated by pride. It is kind of a rush to have a group of people say that they want to hang out with you just to learn from you.

But, the only consistent, long-term motivation for the Christian to be selfless and to serve and mentor others is gratitude for what God has done for them. This deep sense of gratitude stems from three sources.

  • A> The person doing the mentoring has experienced a dramatic life changebecause of their encounter with Jesus and their salvation experience. They have experienced a 180 degree turn around in their life and, out of gratitude for what God has done, want to tell others and help them to grow in their relationship with God. Their motivation is rooted in the fact that God forgave them totally and accepted them just as they are regardless of how deep they were in sin.
  • B> A second group will base their gratitude on some event or crisis in their life, where God intervened and saved them or their loved ones from a catastrophe. Their motivation is pure. They are not trying to pay God back; they are just deeply grateful for His mercy and kindness. Often they sensed that God helped them and preserved their life for a specific reason. And, this  sense of being alive for some Kingdom purpose provides a lasting source of motivation for mentoring others.
  • C> The third group of highly motivated mentorshave not has a significant near-death experience, nor have they been rescued from a life of deep, dark sin. They justseem to grasp the significance of the cross and the love that God has for them. Responding to God’s loving call on their lives, they love, they serve, they give … they just seem to get the idea of mentoring somehow. These people make great mentors because they have known God for a long time and have faithfully followed Him on a daily basis as they experienced the various aspects of real life.

So, mentoring must arise out of a grateful heart.

5> You will leave a real, living legacy

Too often people simply live, take up space, breath air, and then die. Their existence upon the earth has not changed anything or any one. They don’t have a living legacy. Gone and soon forgotten. Such a total waste of life.

Others strive to make money, and then donate large sums so that they can having a building or charitable foundation named after them. Good but not really the way God has set out for us to leave a living legacy after we are dead and gone.

When some people in their nineties were surveyed several year ago, they were asked this question: “What are the three things you wish you had done and didn’t do?”

Their answers:

A> “Take more risks”

B> “Reflect more”

C> “Focus more on the things that will live beyond me”

The third one deals with leaving a legacy. It is answering the question: “How have I spent my life up to this point?” It is being reflective and asking, “Ten years from now, how will anyone know that I was even here?”

Those who mentor others have already looked at these questions and have found a way to leave a living legacy. Simply mentor others … imparting into them who you are and what you know. Because they helped younger Christians and even non-Christians to take the next step in their journey towards or with Jesus they are developing a living legacy that will remain long after they have departed this life.

So, let God use you to help others to move forward in their relationship with Jesus. Remember, “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17).

6> You won’t waste your life

A speaker asks the question: “If your life were a dollar, how are you spending it?”

That question creates laser focus:

  • What am I doing with my life?
  •    Am I more than just another “piece of the machine”?
  • Did God put me here just to go to church and then die and go to heaven?

John Piper, in his book “Don’t Waste Your Life,” gives this perspective:

I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story in the February 1998 edition of Readers Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball, and collect shells.” At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream. Come to the end of your life – your one and only precious, God-given life – and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment. “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy. And people are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: “Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life!”

As you walk with Jesus look for others who are not as far along in the journey and reach back and give them a helping hand. Mentor them – pouring your life and your wealth of wisdom gained from life lived with Jesus into them. Stop thinking of retirement at 55 or whatever age you have set – and start thinking of investing your life in others regardless of your current age.

Don’t waste your life. Do what Jesus did. Pick some less experienced people and mentor them.