Mentoring is the secret of many great figures in life. Many great figures had a mentor, who guided them with wise counsel. I had a very wise mentor who died last year. In a time when I experienced huge life crises, he was there for me – we had a meeting every week for at least an hour. It was my most important meeting, besides my quiet time with the Lord.
Do you have a mentor? Somebody you can turn to for help and guidance in life changing, fragile moments.
King David had a highly esteemed mentor, Ahithophel. 2 Samuel 16:23 “Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.”
Both David and Absalom respected the “advice” of Ahithophel and regard it as equal to that of one who “inquires of God” – literally, “consults the word of God.” The value of Ahithophel’s advice was like that of a priestly oracle divinely sent, a godly mentor.
When you choose a mentor, what do you look for?
The characteristics of a mentor: A person with experience; somebody you can respect; somebody you want to learn from; somebody you like; not necessarily old; a stabile person; a person with consistency; a person with character; a reliable person; somebody who cares; a person who is well-accepted by respectable people; a person who don’t necessarily have a lengthy curriculum but somebody with character; a person who will be able to focus on your (the protégé’s) agenda, questions, priority’s, growth, etc.; a person who will hold you (the protégé) accountable and sees it as a means to an end; somebody whose goal is to support, encourage and strengthen you; somebody who will be honest with you; who will be an example to you; who is dedicated to you and pray for you; somebody you can respect and want to learn from; somebody you can have a transparent relationship with; somebody who is ready to also learn from you; somebody who is successful in your estimation; Somebody who will have patience with you and be willing to serve you; a person who is a good listener; a person with integrity; a person well-respected by others; a person who believes in you and see your potential; somebody who have your best interest at heart; somebody who will hold you accountable.
How to choose a mentor?
Determine your need(s). Go through the ideal mentor list (above). Look for somebody the same gender as you. Choose somebody well respected and perhaps older (not necessarily) than you. Make a list of two to three candidates and compare them against the definition of a mentor and requirements of a mentor. Pray for God’s guidance in your choice.
Then, when you are sure who you want to ask to be your mentor, approach that person by asking something like this: “Would you please consider being one of my spiritual mentors?” “What I mean by that are: To please pray for me, frequently talk to me, and I will be accountable to you. The goal of our meetings will be to talk about prearranged subjects. I need your assistance to develop to my God-willed potential.”
Tomorrow we will look at a few ideas on “how to be a mentor.”