Few things in life can change us faster than solid mentoring. I have been blessed over the course of my life to be around several men and women, further along than I in the faith, who took interest in teaching me how to live well. It’s incalcuable how much I’ve gained from these times. I have been spared the consequences of many bad decisions by talking things over with my mentors. They always are able to see truth in the mixed bag of ideas I bring week to week.
Over time (lots and lots of time), as I’ve grown step-by-step, I see my response is not merely to be the best disciple possible. I am being discipled that I might be a discipler. I’ve been shaped, that I might in turn work to shape others into “God’s kingdom come” and “the likeness of Christ”. As we grow in faith and understanding, our response to transform our world starting with the church.
Therefore, it’s fairly clear God doesn’t give us mentors so we can go live in a cabin in the mountains all by ourselves, as nice as that sounds sometimes 🙂 As we grow in this journey, God will bring people to us who we can pour into. I was surprised with this happened this past week. A friend came up and asked me if I could mentor him. I was shocked, but then heard God’s gentle affirmation. It turns out the aspects of his life he wants most to grow in most, are things I’m most passionate about. Needless to say, God knows what He’s doing.
A great image of this is a person with one hand grasping the hand a person higher (further along) with the other hand reaching down to one lower. In this, we all need continual shaping, even while there are plenty around for us to shape. We each have much to offer as image-bearers.