Last week, we started a discussion on mentoring. It’s important to be poured into by those further along life’s path. But what do you do once you’ve been filled?
I have found that as I have been so generously poured into, that I must pour into others.
Everyone needs a Paul. Everyone needs a Timothy.
We need to support and mentor and hold one-another accountable; encouraging one another toward the father, not shaming each other into isolation. This is community. We also need to serve those behind us on the path. We need to mentor as much as we need to be mentored.
So now the lies tend to sink in. I’m too young. I have nothing of value to say. I’ve messed up too many times. No one should look to me as an example.
Please recognize these as lies, my friend. God has redeemed and forgiven you. He has been working in your life, growing and stretching you, revealing himself through your life.
My small group leader in high school recently gave a sermon about mentoring those further down the path from us. He says, “So often we feel that our failures disqualify us from any influence. You’re on your second marriage, you’ve been bankrupt, you can’t get a certain part of your life under-wraps, you’re still struggling with porn once a month. I say this: if you’re struggling once a month, what has God done in your life to whittle it down that far? Find somebody who’s struggling on a daily basis and go public; expose your own journey. It’s in the killing of the shame and secrecy and alienation that comes from sin that we can actually step into the discipleship process at a multi-generational level.”
He continues, saying that our failures have taught us some of the greatest lessons in life. And why not share that wisdom we have been gifted with through the pain and heartache and shame? Why not allow that to be used to build the kingdom?
The reason the women who have discipled me have had such an impact in my life is not because they are bible-thumping, church-goddess women. Not at all! It is because they are real. They have invited God into the struggle and are beginning to learn to do that well. It is because they are soft and willing to share what has been revealed to them.
This is the kind of woman I want to be. Soft, strengthened by the Father. This is the kind of woman he is shaping me into. And as such, I am not to keep silent about what he has been teaching me. I am to go out and speak. I am to pour into the lives of those behind me on the path out of what God as done in me.
The girls I mentor add a vibrance to my life. Their excitement and potential are encouraging. Watching them embark on their own relationships with Jesus has been a privilege.
Are you influencing someone’s life? Think about a young girl in your life who may want the input of a young adult woman in her life.
It’s a beautiful blessing to be poured into and turn to pour out into someone else.
So who is your Paul? Who is your Timothy?