“But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.” (2 Corinthians 1:24)
After being a Christian for more than two decades, I have come across many mentors and mentees. If we are not careful in this role as mentors, we could be infected with a mentor’s complex. How easy and unintentional, yet malevolent, we quickly assume dominion over our mentee’s faith.
How we push their Savior away and hope they imitate us?
How we long they share our grace, our strength, our weaknesses, and anything less we condemn as spiritual decline?
How we foolishly grieve our mentee’s differences and call it a quit?
My mentor friend, even the great apostle Paul had to tell himself and his Corinthian men tees, that they stood by their faith, not his. He says in another version, that he wanted to work together with the Corinthians so they will be “full of joy”. Christian mentor ship is not a synonymy for joy kill, you don’t have to title everything appropriate, inappropriate, applicable, not applicable, right, and wrong…..
You can simply be their joy, as they walk this sanctifying walk with their own Redeemer. Mentor ship is more about taking a step with your mentee as they learn about HIM, knowing their strength, call and their personal faults than about judging, condemning, worrying, and what not. Any time you are tempted to impose your faith on your mentee, humbly remind your puffed-up mind, “It is by their faith they stand.”
Am I condemning the rightful pointing of your mentee’s sin or theological error? No, in contrary I am encouraging you to be effective in affirming their strength and faith. I am pleading with you to be very sure of their error with biblical backup before you confront that young believer and kill their passion for Christ at times deeply and forever. I pray and yearn that we know our place and stand there with resolve as Christian mentors. It’s a delegate place, it’s a little space between too much help and making them limp or just a neglect that might let them injure. The one who called you to be there, He will fill you with the needed wisdom.
But here is one think I want you to remember, “they really do stand, by their own faith!”