What Have You Gained From A Mentor?

coffee8.jpgHave you been privileged to have a mentor or mentors in your life at some point?  What did you gain from this person?  

I can think of several people in my life who have served as mentors.  I am grateful for each of them.  Years ago, our church invited a very high profile minister to speak at our congregation.  I felt somewhat intimidated.  After all, he was from a very large church.  Our church in comparison was very small.  He seemed polished and was very experienced as a minister.  Meanwhile, I felt — well — rather inferior to him.  What I remember was that we took a long walk on a Sunday afternoon across my in-laws’ land.  He listened as I talked.  He told me the truth about his ministry situation.  He said, "Yes, I do preach for a larger congregation and the salary is probably more than yours.  On the other hand, I have some incredible expectations on me.  And, in this church, I live with constant criticism from a group of people." 

He went on to talk with me about my marriage and my children.  He talked with me about my workload and encouraged me to do less counseling than I was doing at the time.  He helped me greatly that day and on a number of other occasions in the future.  To this day, I am so grateful for the way he cared enough to invest himself in me.

I have another mentor whom I have known almost thirty years.  I have talked with him about almost everything imaginable about life and ministry.  I recall talking with him one day while we were having lunch during the Pepperdine Bible Lectures.  This has been about fourteen years ago.  We were driving back to the campus.  We were talking about marriage.  I told him that I was wrestling with passivity.  I told him that I knew it was wrong but, nevertheless, I fell into it at times.  He said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for you to be different and to break a cycle that is all too common in men."  That statement was incredibly helpful to me.  I am so thankful that he was willing to step into my life and say this.

I want to close with a wonderful comment that Jen placed on my blog the other day regarding the place of mentoring in her life.  I can’t say this any better.

My mother has always told me that she felt every little girl needed
someone outside of her parents that thought she was wonderful.  To me,
this formed the basis of my understanding of a mentor.  I certainly do
not see my role as a mentor as only a cheerleader, but one who values a
person so highly to offer graciousness and truth in the context of
love.  I have had many mentors and cheerleaders across my life, both
men and women.  I also have had the honor of mentoring two younger
women than myself.  It is humbling, as I watch these younger women take
my words and sort them out. I offer my words much more cautiously at
this point, praying for discernment.  As I have grown into these
mentoring roles, they have illuminated my need for community wisdom,
and I find myself looking for those moments when I can talk with those
older than myself.  There are some that I have sought out over the
years, and I do have one mentor that has lasted over many years who I
feel completely comfortable with in my most authentic self.  There are
also others that have been complete surprises to me, and I have almost
overlooked them because I was looking for something different. 
Mentoring is close to my heart, and I am enriched for those who mentor
me and those who I am privileged to mentor.


What have you gained from a mentor?  How have you been blessed by having a mentor or mentors in your life?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “What Have You Gained From A Mentor?

  1. I posted in your previous message about not having a mentor, but I was wrong.  I just wasn’t looking at what God has blessed me with, and I didn’t realize I really do have mentors.
    You are one.  I read this blog every day, and check back to read the comments.  I get information from your blog in areas of my life that were left untouched before I ever found your site.
    There is a lawyer who is also mentoring me in learning laws. 
    There’s a chaplain in another blog who is mentoring me about not comprimising God’s Word.
    And recently, God has added a new person in my life who speaks to me like a dad would to his daughter.  I lack a relationship with my own dad, and it’s by his choice, but there is still that gap there. 
    I’ve thought about your mentoring topic for a few days now, and it dawned on me God has not left me out.  He’s given me four mentors, and He’s helping me work out my relationship with my mother.
    I guess I’m not invisible to God. 

  2. Good topic, Jim -I have had several mentors in my life and have been a mentor to several younger women and some men in my life in various capacities.This may surprise you, but probably the best mentor I’ve ever had in my life has been my beloved husband, who was first a good friend and co-worker for several years.  After that we became even closer friends and eventually (after knowing each other 12 years) were able to marry.  I also had a Christian psychologist who not only helped me in counseling, but also as a mentor in many ways and as a dear friend, both he and his wife.  They made a huge difference for the better in my life and I am very thankful for their involvement in my life.I have tried to pass along that kind of friendship and "mentorship" to those following me, starting with my own children and some young friends.  My very best friend for years has been a younger woman some 14 or so years younger than I am who I have mentored and for whom I have tried to be responsible in offering the very best advice I could possibly offer, some of it from my own mistakes to help her keep from making the same ones.Like I say, this is a great topic and I’m glad you’ve posted these posts on the subject.Cheers & Blessings to you all today!  Dee

  3. Invisible,What an encouraging comment.  I was encouraged by reading your words.  Most of all, I was encouraged to read of your recognition that there really are people in your life who are contributing in some way.  I am glad that you come to this blog and hope that  in some way you will continue to be encouraged. 

  4. Dee,Thanks for this note and for affirming the importance and value of having others in your life in such a role.  As you suggest, listening to other people can contribute to one’s life and keep a person from making mistakes.Thanks