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The Benefits of Mentoring

“My son, if you will receive my words, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding… ” Proverbs 2:1

The book of Proverbs is a recorded book of practical life truths that were spoken. Originally, the context was a royal court setting. Solomon gave his instruction as a teacher to students, sitting together on marble benches or strolling about the lush courtyards, dispelling his learned wisdom with stories and dicta. The whole idea was to pass the wisdom of the existing leadership to the up and coming future leaders.

Other times, this mentoring occurred in the home, as parents gently spoke wisdom to their children. Proponents of business success understand the benefits of mentoring. Managers and high-level officers provide their business wisdom to their trainees in training sessions, internships, and conferences. The methods used to nurture young recruits in the business world are countless, and they can be found everywhere, online and in classrooms.

Most of the great athletes today have personal mentors. Pick any sport and look at the top players; you will find all of them make use of a personal coach or mentor to help refine their football catching, golf swing, or tennis serve. Many hire mentors to build their confidence and mental toughness even more than their physical skill.

Solomon had this great gift from God – wisdom beyond all who had ever lived and would ever live, and he did the right thing with it: he passed it on. His love of sharing wisdom is why we have the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. Solomon did not let his failures keep him from sharing what he knew to be true. Trust me, Solomon had lots of failures. As does every man.

People tend to think that because they have failed in life, they have no right to teach others what they know. We have all failed. And sometimes the things we have failed at the most are the very things we understand best.

Mentoring is one way older or more experienced individuals can take younger, less experienced individuals under their wing and point them in the right direction. Solomon did this, and how blessed were those he counseled. He understood the benefits of mentoring.

If you are young, then I can tell you one of the best things you can do is find a mentor. Find one! Don’t stop until you do. Make sure this person is someone you admire for the right reasons. Make certain he has integrity, has lived fully, and has a sincere faith in God.

If you are an older man or woman, and have lived enough years to experience the highs and lows of life, you’ve hit a lot of debris in the road but found your way through it, you’ve taken some wrong turns but endured the trials of getting back on the right track, then do someone a massive favor and find a young man or woman who is in need of direction. Give them some of your life. Spend time showing them how to make decisions, how to recover from serious mistakes, and how to make life better than before… and you will have lived for a higher purpose.

The benefits of mentoring are vast, and one of life’s greatest blessings, for the receiver and the giver.

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