While taking time off from writing, Rick tapped me for teaching our Tuesday evening Bible study. He’s always concentrated on books of the Bible, starting from chapter one, verse one and going straight through with historical context, what the scriptures say and how they apply to our lives. While I love that kind of inductive study, I chose a different direction: people.
One of the book ideas I’ve had for a long time would center on mentoring. I’ve had a lot of questions about how mentors are chosen, how long the relationships last, what the rules of engagement might be, climbing mountains to reach the goal and pitfalls along the way.
I made a list: Jethro and Moses, Moses and Joshua, Eli and Samuel, Samuel and Saul, Jonathan and David, Jehoida and Joash, Elijah and Elisha, Mordecai and Esther, Naomi and Ruth, Elizabeth and Mary, Barnabus and Paul, Barnabus and Mark, Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos and Paul and Timothy. It took almost two years to go through these relationships, and we didn’t go as deeply as we could have.
Oh, my, the lessons I learned (and hope our participants did as well). Before breaking for summer and having our year-end potluck, we did a quick run through of these relationships and some of the lessons learned. Here are just a few:
A believer can receive sound advice from a non-believer. The believer must be humble enough to listen and wise enough to discern what to take to heart and what to discard.
Just because a person is reared in a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean dysfunction is inherent. We don’t choose our parents, but we do choose the course of our lives and whom we serve.
Sometimes a mentor must learn that God’s choice of a mentee is far different than what the mentor might have chosen.
Mentoring relationships can be brief, and still offer a lifetime of encouragement.
A person in the pew may be called to correct and mentor the one in the pulpit.
Someone who failed his friends can be mended and brought back into fellowship by a mentor.
And so many more…
If you want to know about psychology and human relationships, the Bible is packed with real life case studies!