Over the past few days (Monday & Tuesday) I’ve been writing about the importance of wisdom. Scripture says, “Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Pr. 8:11). For me, mentors have been an incredible source of wise counsel. One benefit of a gifted, wise mentor is that they have the ability to be very direct without crushing your spirit. Everyone needs a handful of people in their life who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
A few months ago I was talking with my great friend Brian Baker in my office on a Sunday afternoon about life, ministry, and the future. As we were talking I must have been teetering on the edge of arrogance because at one point Brian scooted up in his chair, paused thoughtfully and said, “You can do a lot of things in ministry because of your natural ability. But, the only thing that will make your work in ministry truly meaningful is if God is in it.” I needed that.
It’s enticing to fall into the trap of believing that having an influential position or receiving notoriety define meaning or success in ministry. In reality, if you’re in the place that God has called you to be and He’s present in your work, what else is there? A direct, timely word from a godly friend and mentor helped me figure this one out. Who knows how long it would have taken me without a wise guide?