Do you know what makes a good mentor great?
- Being authentic – Be real. Be the woman God created you to be. Be willing to share your flaws and how God is working in your life. Be willing to share how God's grace pulled you out of a similar situation. When a young woman comes to her, shares her heart, and you have a similar story and you fail to share it – SHAME ON YOU! God is sending this young woman to you in order for you to give the glory to God, and here you are holding in the glory meant for Him because of your vanity and pride or fear. Shame, shame. Mentors are not perfect: they are forgiven. One more thing – when we are willing to share our vulnerabilities with another woman, she is more likely to open up and share more with you because this is how trust is formed. By sharing the ugliness that God has redeemed, that young woman realizes you won't be judging her for where she stands now. AND ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU WANT?
- Being filled with the Holy Spirit. In Luke 2 the Bible said Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. There is no better way to encourage another woman than by being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking the words that He gives you to speak into the life of that young woman. When we operate out of our own ability the results are humanly attainable, but when we operated inside God's ability and guidance, then anything is possible. Luke 2 says, "For nothing is impossible with God."
- Being humble. Elizabeth asked Mary why she had chosen her to be the one to receive the honor of her visit. When the world around Mary probably didn't believe her story, when her fiancé wanted to put her away, when Mary needed a mentor, she went to Elizabeth who was humble and accepting. How do you receive others? Do they feel or see God's love in you?
- Being encouragers. Elizabeth encouraged Mary in her faith in verse 45. Being the person in a woman's life to say, "God is going to get you through this. You can make it"-- instead of condemning as many might.
- Being approachable. Do women feel they can come to you and not be judged? Or are you all business? Are you cynical and harsh? Are things black and white, right and wrong without any room for compassion? Ladies, we need to get over ourselves and ask God to allow us to see others through His eyes. Thank goodness He doesn't see me through the harsh lens of right versus wrong, but rather He sees me through the blood of His only Son standing as His redeemed daughter.
Do you know what can prevent a woman from being a mentor?
Addiction? Not hardly.
Abortion? No, ma'am.
The answers are:
- Unrepented sin – It is important that mentors have dealt with their "stuff" -- whether the stuff is sin or other issues -- before they begin to mentor another woman. I encourage every woman to journal because sometimes we don't see God's hand moving in our lives until we have moved through the difficult time and look back. It also allows us to see how there are natural consequences to our sin, especially unrepented sin.
Sin puts a wall between us and God. Remember we needed the cross to break down that wall and receive redemption that's eternal, but we can still be outside of God's will as Christians.
- Unforgiveness – Unforgiveness means we don't have a contrite heart because we are choosing to make ourselves more important than obeying and submitting our fleshly wills to God's instruction.
When we forgive, we grow in depth in our spiritual relationship by leaps and bounds.
There are a few quotes from Spiritual Mothering that I really like. "Protection is a fruit of forgiveness." We are protected because we are submitting our will to God, and we are under His protection.
"A woman who has not dealt with her hurts in her life and forgiven those who have offended her will have roots of bitterness and anger that will render her ineffective in entering into a nurturing relationship with a younger woman to encourage and equip her to live for God's glory."
"Refusal to forgive puts us under the domination of the person who has offended us, and that enslavement robs us of the freedom to have healthy relationships."
And my favorite is, "Forgiveness is a life-style of grace." A life-style of grace – oh that I might live a life-style full of grace.
Unforgiveness is something you choose to pick up every morning when you get out of bed along with any other sin or problem like guilt or worry.
So, where do you stand? Are you ready to mentor or be mentored? Have you dealt with your stuff? Do you need encouragement to get through your stuff? Are you ready for an authentic, real relationship with a godly growing woman? Let me know.