Tuesday 11 October 2016

Mentoring should take place in three directions: which directions are they?

"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath" Proverbs 15:22-24.

We need good and godly counsel if we are to succeed in life. However, we must determine what success is in the sight of the Lord. In the sight of the Lord success includes that we must seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), we must seek to support the Lord's church and be in good standing with her (Ephesians 5:; we must pursue living a life of holiness, one that is submitted to the written Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

I hope that the previous blog post on mentoring has got people thinking. Thinking to be actively praying for and seeking out good mentors, while avoiding the influence in one's life of people who should not or are not able to mentor people. Not all mentoring is helpful, in fact false teachers are always seeking to mentor people, but in wrong directions. We must seek out and pray for discernment. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "but test everything; hold fast what is good". 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world".

This blog post is intended to emphasise mentorship in three directions.

1. To be mentored by those who are more mature than us, more experienced Christians than us.

2. To develop peer level mentoring and mutual encouragement with friends. These are relationships where you are exhorting one another to remain on the "narrow path" in following after the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. To seek to encourage others who are less mature than you or younger in the faith than yourself.

Mentoring is never to be a way of controlling people or some unhealthy co-dependency relationship. We must beware of this because the flesh and Satan soon want to spoil things. We must always note that mentoring among Christians is never to substitute the counsel of godly elders, nor is counsel to be spiritually divisive for the church; these things happen!

Having said that, I hope that I have widened the scope of mentoring so that we can consider these three directions for mentoring. Ask yourself, how am I doing in these three directions of mentoring? I would suggest that if you are not planted in a church, then do not seek to be mentoring anyone until you get yourself sorted out. However, pray for mentors in the first and second category. Godly friends are a precious gift on our pilgrimage.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" Matthew 7:13-14.

A good book is called "Friends of Calvin" by Michael A. van den Berg published by Eerdmans.

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