Marks of a Mentor
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7
Sometimes I like to imagine how a story would be told from the perspective of the valiant biblical characters we read about. In this article, let’s take a journey with a few of them.
The fields were hot that afternoon yet there was a certain chill in the air that I could not describe. It was an ordinary day, yet somehow it felt like everything was about to change. I was plowing as I usually did, when without warning a man passing by threw his cloak upon me. Though it was light I instantly felt the weight of it of its worth.
I knew immediately that I had to follow him no matter what I had to leave behind. With his blessing, I ran back and kissed my mother and father and made some farewell sacrifices. Soon after, I departed to meet this prophet and begin my journey down the road that changed my life.
Elijah was his name, and he was my mentor until the Lord saw fit to take him. Before He was lifted into heaven he asked me what final gifts he could bestow upon me. I had followed him and walked with him closely for quite some time and I knew that I wanted to be just like him and greater if that was possible. If you read my story you will read that, by the grace of God, I succeeded this great man, but in my eyes, he is still the hero. I wouldn’t be what you know me as today without him.
I remember the journey well. My husband, his brother and their father took their final breaths and we were left alone. My mother-in-law, Naomi and my sister-in-law, Orpah and I knew that our lives would never be the same but we were uncertain of the events that were soon to unfold. Naomi had prayerfully decided she wanted to return to her home country and leave Moab. Orpah continued back to her family in another direction, and as for me, I could not be pried away from Naomi’s side. “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” This is what I said and what I meant.
We journeyed many miles and although I was helping her, she was teaching me. I followed the path I felt God was leading me down and was guided by His voice and His servant, my loving mentor Naomi. It was not long before the man I would pledge my devotion to saw me working in the fields and later we were wed. Through these events, I was blessed and gave birth to a son named Obed, the grandfather of King David. I put God’s work before my own desires and I was given a life better than what I could have designed.
Mentorship originated in the Word of God. We know that Jethro mentored Moses. Moses mentored Joshua and the children of Israel. Eli guided Samuel. Samuel counseled Saul and David. David went on to become one of Israel’s greatest king who also mentored Solomon. Mordecai was a help to Esther and with God’s support, which later led to the liberation of God’s people. The apostles mentored hundreds of other leaders, including Paul. Paul mentored Titus, Timothy, and many others. Even the disciples followed Jesus closely and helped change the course of history. This is only a small list of examples of those who were perfect paradigms of this lifestyle.
It is no different for our culture today. We need people in our lives that will help point us in the right direction and help us along the journey.
Mentors do not become what they are overnight. If you truly wish to glean wisdom and teachings from someone, it should be from someone who has been walked with God closely and knows what it is like to face hardships. These are ones that can teach by example. They cannot accurately lead you through a valley they have never been brought through. They cannot fix all of your problems, but they can, with the help of the Lord, teach and train you and help make you a stronger person.
Some distinguishing marks of a mentor may be ones of loneliness, heartache and hurt. They have been through the situations you are repeatedly combatting, and ones you have yet to face and are there to help you overcome. The scars they bare are from battles won and victories achieved. Having and being a mentor is an essential part of a person’s walk with God.
Make it a point to prayerfully choose someone in which you can learn from and grow with. It is with love and lessons that they received the marks they have. Remember the words of Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Your life will never be the same when you engage in the counsel of the wise. It is from them and through Christ that you will learn, mature and be what God has called you to be.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She just recently married her best friend and together they are serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.