January is National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month. But what exactly does a mentor do? A mentor is considered “an experienced and trusted advisor.” There are certain qualities, however, that make an exceptionally strong Christian mentor. A good mentor actively engages with the person they are mentoring; they show an interest in learning about those they mentor and offer encouragement. A mentor also offers objectivity and perspective of situations. Although some people may look for mentors at work or home, the most helpful mentors are still able to look at situations objectively and separate their feelings from situations in order to help their mentee do what is best for them.
A good mentor also offers thoughtfulness and introspection. Teaching a mentee how to be introspective, and really analyzing the “why” of situations, is a timeless gift that a good mentor brings to the table. Although a mentor’s life may often be different than their mentee’s life, resonance and relatability are great qualities for a mentor. A shared experience on some level can help a mentee, by enabling a deep and genuine bond and facilitating trust. Lastly, honesty and insight are critical qualities for a mentor to have. Proverbs 24:13-14 talks about wisdom being like honey for the soul. Although the truth may not always be sweet like honey, a strong mentor helps their mentee grow through hardship spiritually, ultimately helping them become the best person they can.
From a Christian worldview, when we mentor others our focus should go beyond helping them pursue “success” to focus on the real prize in our journey to be like Christ. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Christ is the ultimate model that we strive to follow, so it is important to keep that in perspective as we face challenges in our lives, asking God for guidance and seeking sound spiritual advice.
Blog Post By: Sarah Warner, M.S.