My husband dreads the words, “It’s time to re-do a room!” I feel it’s a commandment of God that I yearly re-do at least one room in the house, and I surely want to obey God! After redoing our living room, I had to start looking for a rug to pull all the colors together. Alas, I found a rug and got it at a great price! It was the perfect finishing touch!
Recently, our grandson Joseph was spending an afternoon with us. Once babies get mobile they generally don’t want you to just sit and hold them, so Joseph was roaming the house and I was following. We put toys on the rug in the living room and Joseph began to play with them. Then he stopped and made his way to the corner of the rug and began to pick at something. Since I did not want him to put any foreign objects in his mouth, I went over to see what he had found. Joseph had found the plastic attachment that had originally held the price tag on the rug. That attachment had been there over a year and I had never seen it. I quickly removed it! Joseph and I have a loving, trusting relationship and he helped me to see what I could not see for myself.
I could start pontificating and sermonizing here, but I won’t. Simply ponder this question: who do you have in your life that shows you the things you cannot or will not see for yourself?
It was Howard Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, who said, “Every Christian should have three individuals in their life: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.”
A Paul is an older person who is willing to mentor you, to help build your life. Not someone who’s smarter or more gifted than you, but somebody who’s been down the road. Somebody willing to share their strengths and weaknesses—everything he/she has learned in the laboratory of life. Somebody whose faith you’ll want to imitate.
A Barnabas is a soul brother, somebody who loves you but is not impressed by you. Somebody to whom you can be accountable. Somebody who’s willing to keep you honest and challenge you in areas you might be neglecting.
A Timothy is a younger person into whose life you are building. For a model, read 1 and 2 Timothy. Here was Paul, the quintessential mentor, building into the life of his protégé —affirming, encouraging, teaching, correcting, directing, praying.
Do you have these three guys in your life?
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17