How to Find Mentoring Relationships
Having mentoring relationships in your life is one of the most important steps for growth you can take. It is the essence of sonship. Many people are stuck because they can’t seem to move out of a life of independence. These dynamics can be seen in Adam’s life in the story of Creation.
Adam’s core issue stemmed from choosing independence. He wanted to know good and evil so he could choose for himself what was appropriate or not for his life. This led to fear (Gen.3:10), because now it became his responsibility to provide for and protect himself; and what if he couldn’t? I believe the source of all fear is right here. Fear always involves a belief that God’s not with me and trying to handle life on my own (independence).
I realized, after years of being stuck, that if I wanted mentors in my life I would have to take the initiative to find them, and accept there are no perfect ones. If I took a teachable attitude, I found I would always gain something of value in the relationship, even if there were aspects of their counsel I did not agree with. Through the years I have had a number of mentors. I want to tell you about the latest.
I was experiencing a stuck time in my life with writers block, so I approached a friend who is a businessman. He was a person I viewed as knowing how to complete projects. I shared with him that I could use some extra accountability to complete several important projects and he agreed to hold me accountable.
On our first meeting, I expected to lay out my projects, talk about what steps I needed to take, and what timelines I should aim for. To my surprise, he wanted to talk about my marriage.
Most of my projects involve writing and putting together messages for public speaking. These require a large amount of creativity. My friend felt that when the foundation of a healthy marriage is solid, everything else flows – especially creativity. In other words, all the projects, steps to take and timelines to set, would all come together if my personal life was fully alive. This was not how I expected the meeting to go, however, I did ask him for his counsel. As a result, he asked me to send my wife an email including questions about what I could do to make her feel more appreciated, more secure and more cared for.
To be honest with you, there was a time in my life where this would have been extremely difficult. Even now I’m not sure I could say it was easy; yet, I sure see the value in it.
Hebrews 12:5-9 says we can live either as fathered or as spiritual orphans.
Verse 9 says that when we can submit to a father’s instruction and correction, we “live!” – life flows through us. But there is no inheritance where there is no father to give it. This businessman imparted an inheritance to me. I was stuck and his input got me moving again. The projects I hoped to finish are now all completed.
Are there people speaking into your life who have walked before you? Are there experienced mentors who understand how you feel and what you are going through? For ministry questions, as distinctly different from business support and advice, I relate to the person leading the minister’s fellowship I belong to, another mentor. He has around 40 years of successful ministry and marriage. Most anything I could face in ministry, he’s already experienced and can give me input.
1 John 4:20 says if you don’t have love in the natural, you won’t in the spiritual. If you can’t submit to earthly spiritual fathers, you will have that same difficulty with your Heavenly Father. You either have that value operating in your life or you haven’t learned it yet.
Sometimes there are prayer ministry issues to workout before you can receive spiritual fathering. Maybe there are past experiences that were hurtful in this area. It is important to resolve these issues, come out of your independence, and gain an inheritance from a father. This will lead you to live a life without fear.
Here’s a question for you to ponder: What could you accomplish if you had no fear?