Paul the apostle spoke in a very insightful way, when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 the following:
"I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church".
Imagine this! Paul says to the Corinthian Christians that though they have "countless guides" ... "you do not have many fathers". He may have been referring to the many travelling sophist teachers who were travelling around or he may have referred to some of the early New Testament preachers when he thinks of "countless guides". Though his statement is hyperbole, the point is taken. The need is always there for spiritual fathers and I dare say also for spiritual mothers as well.
However, in this blog post, I would like to lay the stress upon us as individuals; it is that we need to take responsibility to seek out spiritual mentors, those who can help us in our pilgrimage. Whatever season in life you are in, you need people with greater maturity, spiritual experience and wisdom than you possess, in order to help you as a Christian. Sometimes we are perhaps too passive to pray for the Lord to give us spiritual mentors. We may also be too passive to seek out spiritual mentors to ask the questions such as what do you think?; Could you advise me?; and what blind spots do I have on a particular matter? These kinds of questions demonstrate humility and teachability on the part of an individual who asks them.
So back to our initial question. Who mentors you? Whom do you seek out to mentor you? So, how do you answer these two initial questions? My aim in this blog post is chiefly pastoral. We of course do not want to seek people out, who will just tell us what we want to hear or those who will give us wrong advice. We want to seek out Christians who are in good standing with a church, and those who have a track record also of godly wisdom. I hope that this blog post can help many people, because we hopefully can seek out more than one person to mentor us. Of course potential mentors should never be a substitute for the counsel of the Lord's ministers and elders, but we need a variety of mentors to help us in the marathon race of Christian living.
Here are three verses to encourage and help us in the endeavour of praying, and for seeking out godly mentors.
Hebrews 12:1-2: "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith".
Proverbs 11:14 "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety".
Proverbs 24:6-7 "For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.