March 21, 2024

Handling Unbiblical Behaviours in Your Mentees

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When working with mentees and supervisees as a Christian mentor or supervisor, we naturally run into behaviours that don’t align with the Bible’s ethics. This can be an excellent opportunity to bring the Bible into the conversation and explore stories that may parallel your mentee’s current situation. This means that we, as mentors or supervisors, need to understand the message of the Bible ourselves. 

What makes certain actions and attitudes unbiblical? After all, the Bible is full of evil deeds and lost and confused people making bad choices. Look at David: he had an attraction to a married woman, Bathsheba, and decided to send her husband to die in the war so he could marry her. This is certainly not Biblical behaviour despite coming directly from the Bible. 

We are meant to learn what not to do from the Bible as much as we are to learn what to do. In David’s case, we can learn from his shame following this incident and how he asked for forgiveness from God. This could be helpful to a mentee who is experiencing temptation outside of their marriage. You can ask, “What happens if you go down this path? What happened to David? Is this what you want?” 

Let’s look at an example: 

Your mentee is struggling with anger towards a coworker. Their coworker said some hurtful things but has since then apologised. Your mentee doesn’t want to accept this apology because they still feel hurt and angry. As a mentor, you know there is a Biblical attitude to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us. What Biblical stories or words come to mind about forgiveness? Many verses and parables could work, but an apt one might be the prodigal son. Your mentee is acting like the unforgiving brother offended by the pain his brother has caused when it is the father acting Biblically, forgiving his son for his misdeed with open arms. Together, you could explore the father’s attitude; what led him to his forgiveness? How did he overcome his anger? 

As a reminder, we are not here to judge our mentee. It is not our job to condemn. We should be careful not to act affronted, shocked or angry if we see our mentee make a mistake. Our job is to help them align with God’s hopes and what is best for them.  Be empathetic, open-minded and full of grace with your mentees. Bring them to God’s grace and create a pathway forward, led by His light.  

Reflection Questions:

How does the Bible inform your thoughts? 

What’s a Bible story or person who went through this sort of thing? 

How did they deal with it, and what was the outcome?

How do I help them identify what is unbiblical? 

What’s Next:

Do you need a completely confidential conversation? 

What are your competencies as a mentor and supervisor? Take a self-analysis of your competency 

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