“Do you think you are you capable of being mentored?”
These words cut to my core. For as long as I can remember, I have honed my craft at using humor to deflect and keep people at a safe distance. Allowing someone to get to know me, the real me, and asking them to be critical of my character, habits and patterns went against everything that felt safe and comfortable. Real growth and true relationship don’t happen when you’re safe and comfortable, they are forged in the fire of vulnerability and exposure, raw honesty and truth.
I’m reminded of the Samaritan woman in John 4 who encounters Jesus at the well. You can read it for yourself in John 4:4-42, but to paraphrase, Jesus starts a conversation with the woman asking for a drink of water. The exchange that follows is Jesus offering living water, the opportunity to never thirst again. The woman asks Jesus for the water so she will not have to return to the well. He tells her to go get her husband and return. Her reply is that she has no husband. Jesus responds, that she hasn’t lied, but the truth is that she has had 5 husbands and the man she is with currently is not her husband. He cuts through all of the formalities and says I see you; all of you, and I love you anyway.
When looking for a mentor, find someone you trust. Recognize the value of their time, and don’t hold anything back. I like to think of a mentor as a personal GPS system. If you were to enter God as the destination and started driving, the directions might say one thing, but your actions might take you off course. A mentor is the voice suggesting an alternate route, offering course correction, sound advice and critical insight.
Step one in finding a mentor is positioning yourself to be mentored. It may be uncomfortable, but the reward is definitely worth the risk.