Cassandra Spicer – CLI Student Ministries
When you think about where you are now in your career, faith, or life in general, who’s shoulders are you standing on?
As I near the end of my time in the Central Leadership Institute, I’ve been spending my time reflecting on the things I’ve learned and the relationships formed in the last year. As I reflect, I cannot help but think about the shoulders God has given me to stand on.
It’s hard to believe that one of the best relationships I have, the one with my mentor, happened unexpectedly. Neither one of us actively pursued the other, I wasn’t looking for a mentor and she wasn’t looking to be one- but God had incredible plans to get our paths to cross.
Every time I think about a mentor relationship I think of Paul and Timothy. I cannot even fathom what it was like to be mentored/spiritually fathered by Paul or how much Timothy learned from him. I mean, it is Paul, you know the guy who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament and followed Jesus with immense passion. But I’ve never thought about what Paul learned from Timothy.
“Mentoring is not a hierarchy: it’s always a two way, mutually benefiting relationship where both participants learn from the other.”
I think that it’s really easy to be the Timothy, the mentored one, in the relationship and be poured into. It can be really easy to take, take, take. It’s easy to stand on the shoulders of a mentor without looking back down at them, because the view they show you is breathtaking. No one had ever taught me that the Timothy can pour into the Paul.
It totally changes my perspective when I realize I have just as much to offer in the mentor relationship as they do.
When I look at my mentor (who I can brag on for days), I see someone who I want to be like one day, not only in my ministry, but as a mom, wife, and woman of God. I look at her in awe that I get the privilege to sit at her feet and learn from her. What could I possibly offer this woman who has taught me so much, has walked with Jesus longer, has raised a family, and has been in ministry a long time?
I get to offer my fresh eyes and new perspective, I get to ask the hard questions that challenge the way she’s always done things, and I get to reignite a passion into her ministry. As a Timothy to my very special Paul, I even get to inspire her to look at people’s hearts differently.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”- 1 Timothy 4:12
I’m sure Paul is using these words to encourage Timothy and to remind him of his worth and value, but I wonder how much Timothy taught Paul about love, faith, purity, and the Word. These words can be an encouragement to all of the modern day Timothys, an encouragement to continue leading others by example, to be reminded that we have worth and value and something amazing to offer even though we are young in age and faith.
Do you have a Paul in your life?
What have they taught you?
Have you thanked them for their investment in you lately?
What do you think you’ve taught them?
I challenge you this week to seek that out… take the time to ask them about two or three things you have shown them through your relationship. I’m telling you, you won’t even realize what your Paul has learned from you!