The Greatest Mentor
I’ve been studying a lot, lately, about what it means to be a mentor. I was amazed that when I put a shout out to social media about what it means to be mentor I only got three answers:
- always protect the other person’s dignity;
- don’t force your opinions on others, but help them form their own; and
- I’d like your notes.
We live in a culture of followers, but it seems as though there is no real standard for those who are leading. With all of the social media and people making their living being ‘influencers’, you would think that we could articulate why we follow people.
Recently, I read online about a hotel proprietor who had been approached by a social media influencer who requested a free stay in return for an endorsement of the facility. The hotel owner shared his situation online and the the backlash was incredible. People were outraged that this influencer was enjoying her 20s, travelling the world for free, expecting her opinion to be worth another person’s expense. How often do we check our Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat for likes and responses? The correlation between being favoured on social media as a leader and clinical depression is incredible. It seems that everyone wants to be a leader, but very few really know what that means.
In searching the Scripture, I found the following standards for leadership, that help outline what we should be looking for in our mentors.
1 Corinthians 11:1
Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.
So, what was Jesus’ example? Mark 10:35-52 tells the story of James and John asking Jesus for the right to sit at His side in His glory. Jesus response lays out several points.
V35 – Jesus begins by listening to His disciples
v38 – Jesus is gentle and extends grace to the disciples as He corrects them
v40 – Jesus clearly sets boundaries about what he can and will not do
v40 – Jesus shares His rationale
v42 – Jesus shares His motives
v49 – Jesus lives out what He is preaching (in a teachable moment)
v51 – Jesus allows others to set the agenda
v52 – Jesus if faithful in following through
v52 – Jesus credits faith over works
Being a mentor isn’t about being number one or being the most popular. Being a mentor is about serving others in a way that encourages them and spurs them on to a closer relationship with God.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
In everything, set them an example by doing what is good.
1 Timothy 4:12
…set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity…
Who are your mentors? Are you willing to be a mentor?