Monday, November 11, 2013

Mentoring each other



Mentoring, Teaching, Learning, Helping; however you would like to describe it, we need to study on this and work on this.  
I think sometimes when we hear this word it kind of turns us off.  I don’t want to be responsible for someone else.  There are days I have a hard time being responsible for myself!  We already have so many people to answer to; our husbands, our children, our parents, our friends, the congregation, the community I live in, my boss, my co-workers, and mostly God.  So now you want me to consider adding another person to the list?  I just don’t think I can do that.  I just don’t have the time.  I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY, NEITHER DO I!!  But what if I tell you that you don’t have to add another person to the list; the person you can mentor is already on that list.  Let me suggest to you that there is someone close to you that you see regularly that needs to be mentored.
 God tells us (the older women) in Timothy to teach the younger woman.  Well I am a little upset over that because I just figured out that I am the older woman.  I don’t mind mentoring someone, but that means I have to really think about how I respond to things a little differently.  I still want to be the younger woman who can make those mistakes and get away with them because I am young and still have time to grow up. 
But we all grow up and we continue to mature (hopefully), at least in years we mature and age.  Have I grown up as a Christian?  Have I matured as much as I should have?  It doesn’t matter if the answer is yes or no, because we can start from today.  If you didn’t, well then start now, if you did, well good for you, keep going, you are now more equipped to help someone else.
Did you ever think of mentoring up?  My definition of mentoring up is that you mentor someone who is older than you.  What, you say?  Wouldn’t that be disrespectful?  God tells us to respect our elders, true, but what if someone who is older than you becomes a new Christian, even if you are younger than them you can help teach them, which is mentoring.  Or possibly a sister in Christ, falls in her faith due to life circumstances that she just wasn’t prepared to deal with, she may be older than you, but you may be stronger right now in your life and you can help lift her up and help find her way back to Christ.  There may also be situations where a mature Christian woman is very strong in her faith and has always thought a certain way about something (for this scenario let’s assume it is a salvation issue), you have been taught something different about this subject.  It would be appropriate and correct for you to discuss this with her.  Now I said discuss, not walk up to her and tell her she is wrong.  You might want to ask to have coffee with you and ask her how she came to believe that and to show you scripture so you can question your own reasoning.  Hopefully by comparing scripture and getting to know each other better you can find the true answer to the issue.  This is teaching, mentoring, and leading. 
How about mentoring across?  Someone who is your age, your maturity level and or spiritual level.  There is nothing better than good Bible study time with another woman.  You can open up and talk on a level that maybe your husband, father, preacher, elder or whoever just couldn’t understand how you express yourself.  You have so much in common sometimes that you assume that the both of you think the same about everything.  Try to bring up some really interesting Bible facts and stories and see if you are both on the same thought process.  You might be surprised and learn something new yourself.
Then of course there is the mentoring down.  Teaching someone who is younger than you.  Someone who is less experienced in Bible concepts and stories.  Someone who needs encouragement in doing the right thing, this may be in just setting a good example.  Slowly teaching with actions instead of rules and speeches on a subject.  Remember actions speak louder than words, this is always true. 
One of the best ways to get to know someone and where they are in their walk with Christ than working with them on a project.  Is there somebody you would like to know better, but don’t know where to start?  Invite them to help you with a project, either at home, or something within the congregation.  By having the time with them, and doing something, it is easier to discuss things and learn about each other.  Open up to people, they aren’t that much different than you underneath it all.

All Praises to God!
Lillian