Saturday, February 28, 2015

Being Authentic and Real in Christian Mentoring

Mentors should be authentic and real. What does that mean? Well, when we try to be something that we aren't, we are not authentic or real. For example, I can pretend to know a great deal about the Internet, but if someone starts questioning me, they will quickly learn that I know only the basics about the Internet. I have not been authentic or real with them. Suddenly, I have lost all credibility with the people around me. To maintain our credibility, we must be authentic and real in all aspects of our life, including the most basic part of our life, which is our rebirth as a Christian.

When I believed on Christ and repented of my sins, I was "re-born". Christ changed my heart and soul, and the Holy Spirit came to live inside me. It is true what Jesus told Nicodemus, the Pharisee: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “ – (John 3: 5-7 NASB). So, when a woman believes and repents of her sins, she is "reborn", and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of her helping to change her into the person that she was meant to be: one who loves God and loves others as she loves herself. She still has free will and can do what she wants to do, but there is a desire in her to do that which is right and true before the eyes of God. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is influenced by darkness and evil. So we have to work at not letting the world influence us negatively. We have to strive to be an authentic Christian.

As a new person, “reborn” through the grace and mercy of God, we are to be authentic and real in our new life. The Apostle Paul said, “… I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – (Romans 12: 1-2. NASB). In our rebirth, we must renew our minds by studying the Word of God and praying. We also renew our minds and hearts by living daily for Christ and doing that which is true and good.

The Apostle Paul went on to explain what this transformation into a new life and the renewing of our minds will look like. He said, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints (other Christians), practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind with one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  -- (Romans 12: 9-20. NASB).

I know this was a long section of Scripture, but we need to understand what an authentic and real Christian should look like before we mentor another woman in Christ-like living. For how can we mentor another unless we are truly an authentic and real Christian? Oh sure, like secular mentors, we can mentor any subject for which we have knowledge to share. But ARCM is first and foremost about being an authentic Christian. The subject matter or skill that we have to share is secondary. Moreover, in order to engage in ARCM, we first have to develop a godly relationship with another woman. For, if our life-style and our behaviors do not reflect well on Christ, we cannot be that Christian role-model or example that the other woman needs.

If, after reading this, you realize that you have not been “reborn”, and you are not truly “Saved”, don’t be embarrassed. But do take immediate action to profess your belief in Jesus Christ, the virgin born and resurrected Son of God. As you repent of your sins, ask Christ to forgive your sins. Then ask Christ to come into your heart. These are not just spoken words, but truly a heartfelt desire to live everyday for Christ. Until the last breath, it is never too late to be “Saved”.  However, if you are indeed a “reborn” Christian, look at your life in light of the above Scriptures and ask yourself if you are indeed living as an authentic Christian. For, you can only have positive influence on another Christian by being truly authentic. We must also be authentic with non-Christian women too. For, if our actions and inactions as well as our words do not agree with what we profess to be, we will never have any positive influence on another woman. So do a little introspection of your life. Look at the way you live and act. What do you think that other people would see in your life? Would they see Christ in your life? Active Relational Christian Mentoring requires authenticity and realness! You can do it!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Being an Ambassador for God through Active Relational Christian Mentoring

There are many blessings and joys in living in this world. In fact, God has thought of everything to make our lives joyful and pleasant. Unfortunately, we now live in a fallen world and that means that Satan does everything in his power to make our lives miserable. Consequently, even with all our happiness and joy, there are times when life can be complicated and hard. But, if we have turned our lives over to Christ, we have the ability with our Salvation to overcome the negatives in life and to live with peace and joy in our hearts.

Living for Christ, though, means that we have to consciously look to Him for our strength and live for Him daily. That is why the Apostle Paul said to “Clothe yourselves therefore as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] kind feelings, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.].” – (Colossians 3: 12. Amplified Bible). You see, the Apostle Paul was concerned that new Christians would continue to be influenced by the negative actions, heresies, and unethical demands of the world. Indeed, it can be easy for us to overlook things that are totally against Christian living. In fact, because we are all sinners, we have a tendency to down play or ignore the ungodly things going on around us. But as Christian women, we have an obligation to “clothe ourselves as God’s representatives”. As God’s representatives, we should consider becoming active Christian mentors. But whether or not we decide to become active mentors, we must become positive role-models for other women.

Being a representative means that we are to be ambassadors for God and His Son, Jesus Christ. As ambassadors, we are to help other Christian women, and women who have yet to come to know Christ as their Savior, and we can do this through ARCM. How can we mentor another woman? Well, we can again go to the Holy Scriptures to get directions for our mentoring. The Apostle Paul states that we should “Be gentle and forbearing with one another… [We are to] above all … [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which bands everything together completely in ideal harmony]. And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule in your hearts.  And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].”  Then the Apostle Paul said: “Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in all its richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom in spiritual things, … And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in dependence upon His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” – (Colossians 3: 13-16. Amplified Bible).

There is such joy and peace in living for Christ and His Father. In fact, we are given even more joy and peace when we share what we know about Christ with other women. You can do it! You can actively mentor as Christ’s ambassador. You can actively help other women in their struggles or spiritual growth through ARCM.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Active Relational Christian Mentoring with Integrity

Active Relational Christian Mentoring provides a view into the life of the mentor. For, it is through the mentors words and actions that her mentee will be able to see what is really important to her mentor. The mentee will see the principles that the mentor lives by, and she will be able to see both the mentor’s actions and reactions on a closer level than an average acquaintance of the mentor’s might see. So, the words and actions of the Christian mentor will essentially show her mentee what she considers to be important. One of the principles that should be important to every Christian mentor is integrity.

All Christian mentors should have integrity. What exactly is integrity? Well, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “it is the quality or state of being of sound moral principle: uprightness, honesty and sincerity.” Jesus spoke about integrity when He said, “unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. …”—(Luke 16:10 NLT). Here, Jesus was referring to the little lies that we tell, as well as to the small amounts of money that many rationalize is no big deal to take. Today, many people steal from their jobs when they take stamps, paper clips, or some other seemingly small items. They do not have integrity. For, integrity means that in even the smallest of situations we are honest, sincere and upright. Not only is our integrity to be a principle and personal lifestyle, but our integrity allows others to see Christ’s principles being lived out in our life.

All Christians should have the highest regard for integrity in all their actions and whenever they open their mouths to speak. In fact, the Apostle Paul, in his peer mentoring of Titus, told Titus to always have integrity when speaking. He also told Titus to think before he spoke in order to keep those who could possibly take something wrong or out of context from doing so. Paul reminded Titus that he should “… promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching.”  -- (Titus 2: 1 NLT).

It is not only our words but our behaviors that are being watched and often emulated by others. In order to emphasize this point, the Apostle Paul said, “… Let everything that you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”  -- (Titus 2: 7 NLT). This is a very important trait that Titus and now all Christians should strive to acquire. Not only should we think before we act or speak, but we should know what God’s Word says about Christ-like living, so that we can strive to live the way that Christ would have us live. The Apostle Paul also told Titus to live the Scriptures as well as teach them and that in so doing he would be encouraging others through his own behavior. So, we are to live out the Holy Scriptures for all to see, thus setting the best examples of Christ-like living for others to emulate. Active Relational Christian mentors should strive to set the best examples for others while living a life of integrity. You can do it! You can mentor for the Lord!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Finding Your Purpose through Active Relational Christian Mentoring

Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? Most people have pondered their purpose at some point. From the moment that I became a Christian at age nine, I knew that my purpose was to love the Lord. Later, I came across a Bible verse that explicitly told me what my purpose in life is to be. “… For I have created him for My Glory. I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”  -- (Isaiah 43: 7. KJ). God created you and me to glorify Him. But, even though I now knew why I was created, I still did not know what my individual purpose was to be, i.e., why “Vicky” was put on this earth. Yes, like all of God’s creation, I am to love and glorify God. But, I also have an individual purpose that only I can perform. My individual purpose uses the talents, gifts, and knowledge that God has given me, and some that I have acquired in my journey through life to share the Gospel and help other women through teaching and ARCM.

Back in high school I decided that my individual purpose was to be a teacher. I could let my Christ-light shine while teaching. However, after my pedestrian versus car accident in 1969, I thought that purpose was vanquished. But after marriage, and while still on crutches from the accident, I went back to college to fulfill my teaching purpose. I graduated and then continued my higher education to become a school Library Media Specialist/ Teacher. I got my Masters in Library Science and actually ended up with three degrees. All along the way, though, I mentored other young women for Christ. One day, I realized that God had not only given me the talent for teaching, but He had also given me the desire to serve Him through teaching and mentoring others. For, from the moment I was “Saved” I had a longing or desire to serve the Lord. But how was I going to serve Him with the limitations I had from the accident. Suddenly I realized that ARCM dispelled all perceived and actual limitations, so I could use my talent for teaching and my mentoring to reach others for Christ. I could fulfill my purpose in serving the Lord in ways that I never dreamed.

Certainly, I enjoyed my seventeen years of teaching and helping students become more technologically savvy in their research and Library skills. However, when I could no longer meet the physical requirements of being a school teacher, I quit the rigors of teaching. But, God had other plans for me. God ramped up my active mentoring of women and gave me both young and adult women to teach in Bible studies. Even during times of extreme pain and while recuperating from the seemingly never ending saga of surgeries, God put women mentees in my life to teach, counsel, coach, and help. Then, God used the circumstances of my medical retirement to provide mentoring Bible studies in my home. Now, my purpose is to educate, enlighten, and empower women to be the best Christian women that they can be for the Lord, for their families and for themselves.

No matter what our circumstances are, God will use us in great and wonderful ways, if we have a desire to serve Him and are willing to do so. ARCM is just one of the wonderful ways that God has given us to serve Him and help others. We just have to be willing to find the time to engage in ARCM. We have to be willing to use our God bestowed gifts, talents, wisdom and knowledge to help other women grow and find their purpose too. So, whether you are good at teaching, counseling, coaching, sharing, or providing empathy and support, you can use your abilities to actively mentor another woman for the Lord. You can do it! Your purpose is to live for and serve Christ! Your purpose is to be that Christian light in what can be a dark world for some. So, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” – (Philippians 2: 3-4. NASB). Allow your Christ-light to shine and share the Gospel, while you actively and relationally mentor others in their life journey.