Today’s devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on May 2, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“In Search of a Mentor”
“To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”
Whether our reference is Karate Kid, Star Wars, or Kung Fu Panda, most of us have a certain image that comes to mind when we think of a “spiritual mentor”: someone who is older, wiser, perhaps unexpected and unrecognizable at first glance, but mysteriously having extraordinary skills and timely advice to pass on to a disciple of the next generation. Though the disciple is less adept and unfailingly more foolish, the mentor invests in and grooms the disciple to accomplish a mission that, in the end, is uniquely his.
In today’s passage, we get a glimpse of Paul’s mentoring relationship with Titus. He has entrusted Titus with a mission, to set things in order and finish what Paul himself had started. He thus sees Titus as a co-laborer, and as he reminds Titus of the task at hand, he continues to provide direction, guidance and encouragement. Paul begins the body of the letter with, “The reason I left you in Crete . . .” to re-affirm Titus’ purpose there. Had Titus written him, asking, “Why am I here on Crete again?”
Do we have anyone like a spiritual mentor in our lives? If not, wouldn’t it be good to have one? Someone who believes in us, challenges us, and entrusts us with important tasks as we engage in God’s kingdom work together? Someone who can help steer us back on course when we lose our sense of direction? If we don’t have anyone like this in our lives currently, perhaps we can consider inviting someone to be involved in our lives in this way.
If we are in the position of mentoring others, whether at work, school or raising our own children, what good example do we see here that we can follow? Do we think about empowering others by entrusting them with important and meaningful work? Do we stay by their side and provide key help and guidance, giving them the tools they need to tackle challenges and succeed at their task? How can we become better mentors?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gifts You give me through the people in my life who can be my spiritual mentors. Thank You also for the privilege and meaningful responsibility You have given me to mentor others. Would You help me to be better at empowering and encouraging them? In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 21
Lunch Break Study
Read John 14:12-13: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Matthew 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Questions to Consider
- How did Jesus empower his disciples?
- Jesus speaks these words to his disciples towards the end of his time with them on earth. What do they show about his perspective of his role and the role of others in God’s kingdom work?
- How can knowing that our own time is limited help us think about investing in others more?
- He promises his help when they ask. He sends them with the backing of all his authority. He promises to always be with them in this mission. Do we have the backs of the people we are mentoring in the same way? When we give them responsibilities, do they have our full support?
- He knew it was never the plan for him to do all the kingdom work in his short time on earth. Once he had accomplished his personal mission, he would be departing with important things left unfinished (just as Paul did in Crete), but he entrusts these to his disciples to complete.
- People with a strong sense of responsibility can sometimes feel they need to do everything themselves. But when we have a sense of how limited our time is, we realize that the most responsible thing to do is to make sure that others can continue the work when we cannot ourselves.
Did I make any effort to connect with a spiritual mentor today? Did I micromanage anyone or just do things on my own because I thought I could do it better? Or did I entrust others with important tasks? If I haven’t yet, I release control and place my trust in God regarding all these things even now.