The distinction between a Christian mentor and a secular mentor is significant; Christian mentors are not just relying on their understanding, but paying attention to where God is working. A large part of a mentor’s goal is to help their mentees do the same, to see where God is working in their lives, and to be able to discern His will.
Knowing where God is at work becomes especially important in challenging moments in your mentee’s life. When a person’s circumstance feels hopeless or overwhelming, it can change their perspective and actions to feel God’s involvement regardless.
Where is God in Your Life?
The simple question, “Where are you seeing God at work in your life?” is a way to jump-start reflection. Even those who aren’t faith-oriented can find it helpful to stop and think about the more miraculous moments in their past.
You can follow this by asking, “If you stop and listen, what would God be saying to you?” and “Why do you think this is God’s hope for you?”
Look to the Bible
If someone is experiencing immense difficulty, it can feel like a locked door to their goals. However, listening to God can help a person overcome obstacles or re-evaluate their goals. Perhaps, they are meant for something different.
In Acts 16, Paul felt the need to go to Istanbul, but he did not succeed. There were obstacles in his path every way he turned. Finally, Paul heard God’s voice in a dream. It told him that he should go to Macedonia and that wonderful things would happen there. It was clear this was God’s voice showing and telling him what to do. When he altered his plans, he could do the good work he had set out to do.
Looking to the Bible can help remind your mentee of God’s work and the importance of faith in his plan. Sometimes, a situation seems hopeless without light, but it may be a necessary piece of God’s good plan. Think about Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Imagine how dark a time this was for Joseph! However, this evil his brothers plotted against him allowed for Joseph to deliver himself, his brothers and thousands of others from starvation.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
“3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Words of Caution for the Mentee:
Is this God’s voice? A person can want something so badly that they resist what God tells them if it interferes with what they want. Sometimes, people can even convince themselves that God is telling them something He isn’t. Sometimes, listening to God means doing something difficult or making sacrifices. An example would be a Pastor staying in their role after they know deep down that they should move on and let the role pass to someone else. They are ignoring God’s voice out of fear or possibly pride. God is never leading you to harm someone or yourself, and if you feel like God is taking you on a self-destructive or selfish path, it is time to seek counsel. A mentor can help you discern your desires and what God wants for you.
Word of caution for the Mentor:
It’s important to recognise the responsibility and power you have as a mentor. A mentor comes from a place of wisdom and experience. The mentee has sought your opinion out and held you in a place of respect. What you say and advise will likely be taken very seriously, so it’s essential to be careful with your words. You are there to help your mentee discern God’s voice, not to shout above it or dilute God’s hopes with your agenda. Ultimately, the decision your mentee makes is between them and God, you are just there to guide and question when you feel it’s necessary.
Where do you see God in your life?
What is God asking you to do?
What opportunity might God be presenting with this difficult time?
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