Looking for a mentor? Hoping to be one yourself? Already serving in that capacity?
In this post, I want to mention two must-have qualities that all mentors should strive for. Without fanfare, here they are:
- a character worth emulating. This is the starting point for everything else. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10) An arrogant person, for example, might be great clinically, and you could still learn a lot from him. But, his mentoring will be seriously compromised because his foundation is built on himself, not God. We need Christian mentors who are following God passionately.
- a willingness to share your weaknesses. We could also call this vulnerability. No one’s perfect – or even close – but medicine encourages us to act like we have it all together. The best mentors let you in on their struggles, and, how God is working through them. They understand that revealing their flaws doesn’t threaten their identity in Christ. They understand that talking about their weaknesses actually enhances their ability to connect with, and teach, their students.
Let’s close with a few questions to bring this home.
Those of you who are being / want to be mentored: Do you have at least one mentor with these qualities? If not, make a quick list and start asking your ‘top choices.’
Those of you who are mentoring / want to mentor: Are there any areas of your life you’re not giving to God? If there are, they can keep you from letting others in. Also: what one person can you take initiative with in beginning a mentoring relationship?
I hope that you are, or at least aspire to being, both a mentor and mentee. May God bless you and multiply your influence.