How to encourage someone to rely on God first
When someone turns to us for advice, we need to be careful not to give any. If we cannot predict what will happen in the next 36 hours, how can we be sure that we know the best way forward? Only God has all the answers.
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
It is very important to encourage a mentee not to rely on us, but to rely on God alone.
1. Set the right expectations
Set the right expectations from the very beginning with mentees. Explain that we are here to walk alongside them as they seek to know God’s will for their life, and that we won’t have all the answers.
2. Develop a standard response to model the right behaviour
Repeat the same pattern whenever a mentee asks us for support and advice. This will help them pick up the right type of response for themselves. Life lessons are often both ‘taught’ and ‘caught’, and this is an example of helping a mentee ‘catch’ the important lessons of seeking God first on a regular basis.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
So each time a mentee comes to us for advice or answers, we can repeat these questions;
- What does the Bible say about … (the issue at hand)?
Refer them to God’s word as the authority. Encourage them to learn the Word and lean on it.
- Have you prayed about this?
Encourage them to turn to God and talk with Him.
- What is God revealing to you?
Encourage them to listen to God.
- What could God’s higher purpose be as a result of this issue?
Encourage them to look beyond their own perspective, taking a “helicopter” view of the “big picture” and wider implications. Encourage them to be impartial and unemotional when looking outside their “own box”.
- If the enemy were to steal your peace, love and joy, what would he be saying or doing now?
Help them to understand that it is not God or other people they could be struggling against, but possibly lies, distortions and accusations from the enemy acting up in ourselves.
- What choice would you like to make?
Bring them to a place where they can repent, make a godly decision and be accountable for themselves.
- Shall we pray?
Encourage them with constant prayer and supplication.
Acts 3:18-19 ESV Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
3. Prepare to release mentees after three years
Don’t encourage dependency by dragging a mentoring relationship on for over three years. Jesus discipled His 12 followers for three years and then left them with His Holy Spirit. Similarly, we should aim to ensure that mentees become independent of us and fully dependent on the Holy Spirit.
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