Mentoring: Being Loved Before Giving Love
 김영환 (Juan Kim)       

For sinners such as us, Lord Jesus’ unique and most magnificent deed, foretold in the pages of Old Testament Scripture (Psalm 118:22-13, Isaiah 53:5), has to be what He has done for sinners at the cross of Calvary. Seeing that Lord Jesus chose to keep His nail marks even after having been resurrected from the dead (John 20:27), His sacrificial love displayed on that tree is not something we will forget once glorified in Heaven, but rather an everlasting memorial to His amazing grace. However, it seems that God in His sovereignty chose something other than His scars as the monument that would represent His glorious work of salvation here on earth. What Lord Jesus left for future generations as He ascended to be with God the Father was neither a photo of His scars nor the wood on which He hung. It was people: a bunch of men and women who trusted in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. I think that is what mentoring is all about. It is about leaving here on earth some people who will be following Jesus Christ for life, even well after the mentor leaves this earth.

The beginning point of mentoring, then, is the cross of Jesus Christ and the result of mentoring is lives joyfully lived for the glory of God as a monument to what He has done on the cross. Since both the beginning and the end of mentoring is Lord Jesus’ salvation work on the cross, it is imperative that the spiritual mentor know the gospel of God as revealed in Scripture. Only somebody who is already a follower of the Narrow Way of our Lord Jesus Christ will be able to assist a person beginning to walk in the Way. Only a recipient of His amazing grace will have the power to be a living example of the Way for a new Christian beginning his/her journey. Lord Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). The mentor shows the mentee what it is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ by loving the mentee and other brothers and sisters in Christ as Christ has loved the mentor. Our naturally self-centered and helpless hearts leave us powerless to exercise the kind of love that gives and gives and keeps on giving to him/her who does not deserve our love (and all mentors find out soon enough that their mentees, like themselves, do not deserve such sacrificial love). But not so for Almighty God: “… the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:5-6). This means that, for the spiritual mentor, there is nothing more important in the preparation of the mentee’s spiritual food than being fed himself/herself with God’s love. Such mentoring ascribes honor and glory to the One who is the source of this life-giving power and ensures the raising of Christ’s disciples rather than the mentor’s disciples.


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