“I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;” ~ 2 Timothy 1:3
We have spent the past couple of weeks considering the need for goal setting and the role it should play in our desire to live a Planned and Purposeful Year. With goal setting the purpose should be to stretch ourselves while we are being Christ centered and focused on his love and peace in our lives. The topic we are going to discuss this week should likewise push us and stretch us, but in a different manner and a different method.
This week I want to consider the importance of mentoring and being mentored. Mentoring plays an important role in the scriptures. In the verse above we see a picture of the mentor/mentee relationship between the Apostle Paul and the young preacher Timothy. That relationship was very important for Timothy to develop as a preacher and a pastor in the church. We likewise see in scriptures where women in the church are instructed to mentor the young women that are coming up. Again, all receive a benefit, the church included, when this relationship forms and is profitable. Mentoring is certainly a process that the scriptures teach and encourage.
There are really three types of relationships we need to have when it comes to mentoring:
Everyone needs a Paul in their life. Having a Paul in your life simply means that you have someone who is older, more experienced, and can give you guidance. That was what Paul was for Timothy and we all need a person like this. The key to finding a Paul is understanding that we often have to seek out our mentors. It rarely happens that a mentor walks up and offers themselves. However, when we find our Paul – a true mentor will gladly accept the responsibility.
The Barnabas should be someone who is in your life and is walking the same path as you are. Typically this is not going to be your spouse but for some it may be. This is the person that you can count on to call your bluff, to be there when you need a shoulder, and to be your companion when you just want a relaxed meal. This is the person that fulfills the role of “iron sharpening iron”. We all need a Barnabas that we can travel with on life’s journey.
Finally, we need a Timothy. Having a Timothy means having a person that we can mentor and help grow. The key is that a Timothy is going to be a person that is hungry and desires that you invest in them. If the relationship is requiring that you work harder than your Timothy they are probably not a true mentee. In your Timothy you should see great potential that just needs to be developed and built up. What we must remember though is that we cannot just go out and grab someone to be our Timothy – we must live our lives in a way that makes the young ones around us want us to be their Paul.
As you work towards living a Planned and Purposeful Year look around you and see who fulfills these roles in your life. Strengthen those relationships and help them to be profitable. Actively engage in the work that is at hand.
May the Lord Bless you,
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