Saturday, March 21, 2015

Using Wisdom and Understanding to Mentor

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding.
For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding.
If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
– Proverbs 2: 2-6 NASB

One of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to ARCM is the stubbornness of the human heart. Obviously, we each have our own opinions and beliefs. We have acquired them through experience, which can be either negative or positive, or through our studies. Sometimes, though, our beliefs and opinions are actually the beliefs and opinions of our parents, friends or professors; having glibly accepted them without searching for the ultimate Truth. But wherever we get our beliefs and opinions, we each have a tendency to cling to them. ARCM, however, has only one fundamental belief against which all other beliefs must be gauged. That is the belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is our resurrected Lord and Savior. God provides the basis for all Truth. God has also given us His only Son to save us from eternal damnation; that those who would believe on Christ might have eternal life. Acquiring and accepting this Truth also gives those who repent and believe Wisdom and eternal love.

Many of those we mentor will already be Christians. But for those who are still unbelievers, we are to share the Good News with kindness and humility. However, whether we are sharing the Gospel or are sharing other information or skills, we have to do so with respect and with knowledge. Christian mentoring is not about forcing our personal beliefs and opinions down someone else’s throat, rather it is about first looking at our own life and examining it in the light of Christ. Then we must listen to the other person and help her by expressing God’s Truth without being prideful or authoritarian? For, neither of those words have any place in ARCM.

Obviously, both the mentor and mentee will have personal opinions. But, both women should be respectful of each other’s ideas. We cannot belittle someone's beliefs and ideas and expect them to automatically accept ours. We have to have the Truth to back up what we say. The mentor must be able to stand on the Word of God and God’s Truth in all conversations. Seeking and having godly wisdom is the key to good conversations. She must also mentor in kindness and respectfulness.

Sometimes, though, the mentor or mentee may not realize that they have become aggressive in how they are presenting their beliefs and opinions. When this happens, the Christian mentor has to stop and be the one to initiate praying to God for direction and insight. Then the Holy Spirit will be the One who will give them direction in how to proceed, and if the mentor is truly speaking God’s Truth, the Holy Spirit will speak into the heart of a Christian mentee. 

The success of our mentoring, though, can come down to the way that we present God’s Truth as to whether or not the mentee will listen. The Bible tells us, “Do not let kindness or truth leave you; Bind them on the tablet of your heart. … Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” – (Proverbs 3: 3, 5-6. NASB). If we present knowledge, information or resources as well as our counseling and coaching with kindness and truth, our mentees will be more receptive to our mentoring.

We also have to use prudence when mentoring. This means that we must exercise sound judgment, and we must be cautious and careful in our conduct and with the words we use. Mentors should also be circumspect and not rash in word or behavior. In fact, the Bible tells us that “I wisdom, dwell with prudence. And I find knowledge and discretion.” – (Proverbs 8: 12. NASB).  There are two other verses, though, that are very important in mentoring as well. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Obviously, there is no place for anger in ARCM. Using Christ’s examples’ we are to have gentle answers to those who disagree with us, which includes our mentees. To help us avoid confrontations or anger, another Bible verse tells us: “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” – (Proverbs 15: 1-2. NASB).

Folly comes from a lack of understanding, and when we don’t communicate well we can have misunderstandings. My mother used to call discordant communication “quarreling”. Although it was rare, my sister and I would occasionally quarrel. Quarreling was rare, because we truly cared about each other and wanted to know what the other thought. ARCM should not have discordant communication either. Both the mentor and mentee should care about each other and care about what the other person is thinking, so they can have clarification on what needs to be addressed or understood.

ARCM is about empowering the mentee to be all that she can be in Christ. But without the mentor’s desire to communicate wisely and without godly insight and discernment, the mentee may not be empowered. Every true Christian woman should be focused on living for Christ and on sharing the Gospel with other women. We can do this through ARCM and by “… being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” – (I Peter 3: 15. NASB).  You can do it! You can wisely mentor for Christ!

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