“When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”
If we do not have Jesus in the flesh to teach us the everyday ways of living, what should we do? We should look for a mentor. For those who are mature, we should consider being a mentor. My mentor is a retired pastor who is 91 years old, and meets with me every week. I have had a half dozen other mentors in my lifetime.
The role of mentor is a biblical one. Bob Biehl, in his book, Mentoring: Confidence in Finding a Mentor and Becoming One, says, “mentoring is a lifelong relationship in which a mentor helps a protegé Òreach his/her God-given potential.
I believe the best example of a mentor in the New Testament is Barnabas, a quiet, unassuming lawyer, who joined the early church in Jerusalem and mentored throughout his life. His first known protegé was a man named Saul, soon to be the Apostle Paul. In Acts 9 when no other Christian would touch this persecutor of Christians, Barnabas took him under his wing. We all know the rest of the story. I believe a large reason for the split between Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15 was not so much over young John Mark, but because Barnabas was willing to mentor a young, undisciplined young man, and Paul was not!
As parents, the greatest mentoring job we can ever do is with our own children and grandchildren. We need to start there. Then, let us look for someone we can touch, and see them change their world for God.
QUESTION: Have you ever been mentored? If not, why not ask someone you respect? Are you willing to be a mentor for a young person in your neighborhood or church?