Mentored By Strangers

Whenever Nan & I go on vacation we always take along a stack-full of ‘mentors’.

Yes, we are talking about books (and CD’s & DVD’s). Some of the books we take along are fiction (who doesn’t enjoy a good Grisham on vacation). But we also take books that tend to help us re-create – after all, that’s what recreation is, right?

Over the years the authors of these books have served as spiritual as well as professional mentors to us. Fortunately for us most of these authors are living today, and we have been able to meet several of them over time thanks to our home church, Christian Assembly in Los Angeles.

Meeting such authors as Henry Cloud, John Eldredge, Larry Crabb, Arch Hart, etc. is optional for most of us. But the wisdom they are able to impart through their materials is available for anyone who would want to read or listen. I cannot overestimate the impact that these fine men and women have had over our lives.

Anyone who knows me (Dave) well would say, “He’s always reading something – always talking about some book or article.”   And that would be true. I don’t see growth apart from an active life of curiosity for more depth of learning.

For example, I have been meditating on a sentence from the book “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You” – written by several authors (published by Shepherd’s House) on redemption:

“Redemption means that out of our greatest pain, can come our most profound mission in life.”

How does that apply to me? How does that apply to you? Are we living out that mission, or have we failed to face our pain and continuing to live in that unhealed pain and living a defeated life?

Another great statement is the major premise from both of Peter Scazzero’s books “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” and “The Emotionally Healthy Church:

“It is not possible for a Christian to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”

Wow – quite a statement. At what stage of emotional or spiritual maturity am I? How is it defined? Fortunately, all of the authors are in agreement and spend time defining stages of maturity.

Again from the book ”Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You”:

“As a whole, our American culture does poorly in the area of maturation, and, sadly enough, the majority of our population probably operates at the infant or child level of maturity.”

My mentors push me to become more informed, more mature, more committed and more relevant. And I don’t even have to know them personally. I just have to be intentional in my pursuit of growth.

But one warning: you must be careful who you let mentor you – I try to know as much as I can about the authors and check out their ‘wisdom’ against the teaching of the Bible.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1 

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