Tonight, one of my spiritual mentors told me that he was failing, and that he wasn’t good enough compared to other Christians.
To be honest, it rocked me to my core. Here was a man that I have constantly looked up to, showing me how to unconditionally love and support those around me. He has loved and uplifted me. He held me accountable, and he showed me how to love Christ even more than I do.
And he just said that he wasn’t a comparatively good Christian.
And that scared me.
I started thinking about some of the roles in my life, as a YoungLife leader, as a leader in my church, in my community, and I realized that I might be viewed as a spiritual leader.
Then it hit me:
I do not want to be a spiritual mentor.
Here me out, I think investing yourself in the body of Christ is an incredibly important and necessary thing for our faith. I think that related to and bringing in people to Christianity is essential as well.
But, I don’t want to be a spiritual mentor.
I fail in my faith everyday.
Sometimes I don’t trust God with my whole life.
Sometimes I find myself on the floor, broken and beaten.
Sometimes I say things that are completely wrong, and don’t honor God at all.
Sometimes I chose to not love people that I know need to be loved.
And the fact that someone could view me as a spiritual mentor is crazy.
But I know that some people see me as that. I understand that sometimes I can say the right words, that I can give a hug at the right time, that I can teach people what loving God means.
I do these things because Jesus Christ is living in me.
And for that reason, I do not want to be a spiritual mentor. I want Jesus to be the spiritual mentor.
If I am loving someone, it is Jesus acting through my heart. If I am teaching someone, it is Jesus acting through my mind. If I am encouraging someone, it is because Jesus is acting through my words.
Make no mistakes about it, Jesus is the one acting. Not me.
I don’t want to be a spiritual mentor. I want the ways that Jesus lives through me to guide people, to show them love, teach them, uplift them, and help to recreate them to be the things that people are focusing on.
I can’t compare to other Christians. I hope that people see their actions as Christ pouring out of them as well. But I would guess most of them fail just as much as I do. I am far too fallible. I screw up on the daily. But I hope that if people see me and want to view me as a spiritual mentor, they are looking at the works that Jesus is doing through my life. How He is using me to change people around me. How He is transforming the world.
I trust that God has given me the skills to be a spiritual mentor, but I don’t want people to build me up. I want them to constantly be building up Jesus. I want them to see and understand that I would be nothing without Jesus.
I don’t want my works to be compared to others in the Church. I want our works to be uplifted as works of the greatest spiritual mentor.
I don’t want someone to see me as the perfect expression of faith. I want them to see me as an expression of how God can change lives.
If you want a spiritual mentor, don’t look to me.
Follow Jesus, wherever that is.