by Rick Warren
“Ask the previous generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors.” (Job 8:8 NLT)
God wants you to use your experiences to mentor others.
Mentoring is far more intentional than simply ministering to somebody when he’s hurting or motivating him when he’s down or giving him an example. Mentoring is when you actually take an interest in a person’s life and commit to helping him along.
1 John 1:3 says, “We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us” (MSG).
What is a mentor? A mentor is simply an experienced, trusted counselor or guide. What do you look for in a mentor? You look for experience. You look for perspective, and you look for somebody you can trust.
Actually the word “mentor” comes from Homer’s poem, “The Odyssey.” When the king goes off to fight the Trojan war, he leaves his kingdom in the hands of a trusted counselor named Mentor. Mentor actually teaches and raises the king’s son. That’s where we get the word “mentor.”
A mentor is like a personal coach. Everybody needs a personal coach and needs to be a personal coach. Personal coaches bring out the best in you. They see in you things that you don’t see in yourself. A mentor helps you with three areas: role, goal, and soul. What do you do in life? What are you accomplishing in life? And, what are you becoming in life? Mentors help you become what you can become.
The Bible says in Proverbs 25:12, “A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than gold rings or jewelry” (TEV).
All education used to be done by mentors. In the Middle Ages, there were no schools. You would be apprenticed to a master craftsman, and he would train you one on one. That’s how you would learn to be a shoemaker or one of many other crafts. Today mentors are used more than ever before. They use mentors in the military, management, sales, sports, schools, and politics. No athlete would think of signing to be a pro without a coach. Pavarotti would not think of singing without a vocal coach. Even presidents have their mentors.
Why? Because no matter how successful you are or how successful you think you are, you always need a mentor. You’ll need one the rest of your life. It’s how you get to the top. You’ve got to have people who are speaking into your life.
Job 32:7 says, “Age should speak and experience should teach wisdom” (GW). If you’re over 40, are you doing that? Are you teaching anybody? Are you sharing any of your experiences, or are they being wasted?
If you are under 40, this verse is for you: “Ask the previous generation. Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors” (Job 8:8 NLT). Are you being mentored by someone with experience and whom you trust? It’s wise to learn from experience. It’s wiser to learn from the experiences of others.