Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Christianity has never been something done in private. It has, from the earliest days, required that we live in community with other believers. We need others for both support and accountability.
This verse specifically reminds us of a crucial dimension of growing in faith – the need for mentors. We need others to show us what it looks like to live as a Christian, in good times and bad times. Mind you, we don’t need perfect examples of faith since there are none to be had. But rather we need living examples of faith.
Over the years I’ve had some wonderful mentors, some of whom are no longer with us. I’ve also had the privilege of mentoring others, which is one of the great joys of my life. And as a mentor for others an important question emerges for me this morning. If you mentor others this question applies to you too.
Do I have a life worth imitating? Do you?
If you’re like most people your immediate response is “no”. You’re too aware of your mistakes, your shortcomings, your brokenness. But I want to suggest you might be wrong about that. True, like me, you may have parts of your life that need a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve as a mentor. In fact, it may be that trusting God to use you as an example to others may be the greatest tool you have to grow in your own faith.
I know of no greater motivation to grow in faith than knowing other people are imitating me, counting on me, to show them the way.
Lord Jesus, if only “worthy” people could serve as mentors, there would be no mentors. We are all sinful, broken, in need of your grace and mercy. Some reading this blog post have felt a nudge to lead others, but have been afraid. Speak to their hearts, dear God. Give them grace to suspend disbelief long enough for you to do a work in them and through them to others. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.