One day while visiting, Joseph left the living room, and I did not hear him for a bit. I walked down the hall to locate Joseph, and there he was in the master bathroom. As I looked in the tub, I could see that Joseph had thrown all kinds of things in the tub. He also found some artificial grapes and was enjoying pulling them off the vine. Joseph was being very messy. Though I had a bit of a mess to deal with, I did not kick Joseph out of the house and tell him to never return. I love Joseph and I understand that his maturity level requires mentoring.
Thanksgiving floods my heart as I remember great leaders who mentored me, when I was a messy Christian. I can still name the mentors who helped me to not be so messy in my walk with God: Gaylon Benton, Iverna Tompkins, Mary Ann Brown and June Evans greatly impacted my life. They were fathers and mothers in the faith for this child. A father, mother, or mentor doesn’t simply provide temporary insight but steady counsel.
Mentoring is more than just developing a cross-generational friendship. It is also more than a counseling relationship. The goal is not to just get to know another person better, but is to know Christ in a more intimate way through the blessing of walking alongside a more mature believer.
Do you have a spiritual mentor, or are you simply continuing to walk a messy Christian life? Do you have a spiritual father or mother you can learn from? If not, prayerfully seek for a person to fill this role for you. Of course, you have to decide that you no longer want to live a messy life, and you want to learn the ways of God.
Are you a spiritual mentor? Who do you know that is young in the faith that you can speak into their lives? Who is struggling in an area that God has given you victory in? Speaking from a woman’s point of view, though not all desire to be developed in the faith, I can say that many young women in today’s churches eagerly desire a mentor. Often they have difficulty finding a more mature woman willing to step into that role. Older women often feel unqualified. What does it take to be a mentor? Perfection? Formal training? Grandmotherhood?
Being a mentor to another woman requires a heart for God, experience in life and a love for people. You don’t have to teach a book of the Bible to another woman. It is being available to listen, pray and instruct.
Joseph watched as I removed all the stuff from the tub. He is learning that he needs to outgrow messy living, and I am willing to help him.
Are you ready to outgrow messy Christian living?
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17