Mentoring; August 22, 2017

2 Chronicles 26:5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.

Zechariah was obviously a good mentor, keeping the king on the right track. However, once Zechariah died, Uzziah thought that he could function as a priest as well as the king, and it did him in. (verse 16 and following) Reading through this chapter, it seems that Uzziah did well through tactics and technology, which indicates he was quite intelligent. That’s certainly not a bad thing in itself, but as Solomon his ancestor demonstrated, it’s not enough. Zechariah taught him to fear/know God, but it was up to Uzziah how he applied it, and he made a real blunder. Mentoring is valuable and can do a lot of good, but it is limited not only by the quality of the mentor but by how the one being mentored receives and applies what they are taught. As is all too common among people of high IQ and/or social position, Uzziah thought he was above the rules, and he discovered the hard way that he was not. There’s no such thing as a perfect mentor, just as there are no perfect mentorees. Humility before God is called for on both sides of such relationships.

I have had a number of mentors over the years, to one degree or another, but no single individual who poured themselves into me. Likewise, I have been able to impact numbers of people, but to a limited depth. Right now I have a committed assistant pastor for the first time in my ministry, and I feel like I’m having to learn how to mentor as we go along. I am not to smother or dictate, but I am not to draw back from teaching and admonishing. (Colossians 3:16) As I seek to mentor him, I am aware of my own limitations, even as I seek to help him deal with his. We are very differently gifted, which is to be expected. I’ve got to be very careful not to demand, even emotionally or subconsciously, that he be like me. That calls for real growth on my part! Above all I am to seek to lead him into a relationship with the Lord that will last and continue to grow long after I am gone, until he too comes before God’s throne. If I don’t model the character traits I desire to see in him, I’ve got no business being a mentor!

Father, thank You for all that You are doing, on so many levels. Help me not draw back or run from any of it, but allow You to do all that You want to do in and through me, to build up the Body of Christ for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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