Praying you and yours had a wonderful Christmas. Here’s another guest post by a friend of mine, Bill Mann. Have a wonderful new year! – Stacy.
I’ve Got Your Back (Abridged)
Lessons on mentoring from the story of David and Jonathan
By Bill Mann
1. Every David needs a Jonathan
2. Jonathan’s loyalty to David was intentional
There are a couple more lessons to take away from the story of Jonathan and David.
3. Mentors take risks for their friends. Jonathan took risks – he was almost killed himself, and he risked his relationship with his father, and his reward for his actions was that he lost the right to inherit the throne from Saul. As Jesus said in John 15:13, there is no greater love than one who is willing to lay down his life for a friend. Jonathan was willing to do that, even if it involved risks to himself and his future.
In the same way, mentors can take risks with their friends by sometimes giving them the “tough stuff” – telling them that their life or conduct is in need of repair, or helping them figure out how to deal with an area of their life that is weak or holding them back. Such advice can be invaluable. Sometimes we mistakenly think that ministry to another only takes place in a church. We forget that most of the life of Jesus as reported in the Gospels takes place outside a church or synagogue. Being a mentor is really a ministry to your friends.
4. Mentors dispense grace to their friends. A mentor invests in his friends without an expectation of receiving any benefit. There is no quid pro quo involved. David was in little position to reciprocate with Jonathan by doing similar things in return, although I can imagine that he would have done the same for Jonathan if the situation had been reversed. That’s called grace – unmerited favor, which really is not earned. David did nothing to deserve Jonathan’s favor. It’s a picture of what God does for us – grace is unmerited favor. We don’t get what we justly deserve. That’s what a mentor does – a mentor invests in another’s life with no expectation of personal gain, other than to help his mentee to be the best that he can be.
Do you have a Jonathan in your life? If not, who has your back? Take time to pray about finding a Jonathan or a David in which to invest in each other’s lives. It may be the best ministry you ever had.