Wise Mentoring

 

Mentoring Concept.Mentoring is a word that I’ve noticed a lot in business. Mentors are considered wise and trusted counselors or teachers. Mentors have gone ahead of others and are happy to share the path to their success or accomplishment. Mentors do not have to know the people they mentor. For example, Zig Ziglar mentored me through his writings and his speeches. He spoke truth with such passion that I couldn’t help but take it in. Most recently, I’m being mentored by Jim Rohn, a philosopher/teacher and “self-help” guru. We have access to many mentors in our world today thanks to the internet and books. I also seek to be mentored by the Apostle Paul who wrote most the New Testament scripture. The scripture has another name for mentoring – discipleship. Paul’s letters to Timothy are great examples of discipleship/mentoring. Check this out….

22 Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. 24 The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:22-26 CSB)

I think discipleship and mentoring are similar but different. Mentoring seems a bit more philosophical while discipleship seems to be practical. Discipleship is a concept from scripture that is displayed in the life of Jesus himself. He invests three years in a discipleship/mentor role with 12 men that He chose. His impact on the world was lived out in those relationships. I would suggest that all the events surrounding Judas departure and subsequent death were used in teaching and mentoring the remaining 11.

I think the discipleship/mentoring relationship can be narrowed down to three important characteristics:

  1. Generosity – the leader who chooses to disciple/mentor must be generous with their time to those they are investing in. They need to be accessible.
  2. Honesty – this is a not necessarily a “feel good” relationship. I’m not a fan of “participation trophy’s”. A mentor must be honest and speak the truth – not with a hateful spirit, but of genuine concern to see growth.
  3. Discretion – there must be a level of confidentiality and trust to be completely real, vulnerable and honest in the mentor/discipleship relationship. There is not one perfect and without out struggle, we often just manage those things differently.

I’m reading some great books that are mentoring me in life and business. I’m also ready the Word of God daily to become a more devoted disciple of Jesus. I want to help others to know the things I’ve tried that didn’t work. I want to keep growing deeper in my faith with wisdom and discernment as I get older and even more experienced in life. I love Paul’s counsel to Timothy about fleeing youthful passions and run from disputes and quarrels. I want to be a steady, faithful disciple of The Lord who teaches with my life and not just my words.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Maturity

happy and motivated old people 3dOne of these days I feel like I will grow up. I have officially been placed on the AARP mailing list and that makes me feel old. There are some days when I feel old, yet I’m a good 20 years younger than others who consider themselves old. Being old and mature is somewhat a state of mind. It is interesting to see how some people age more quickly than others. I used to subscribe to the theory of a friend of mine that says, “since I’m a bit overweight, my skin is stretched out and I look younger than I am”. I watched a television documentary on ESPN about the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers and the players on those teams were 30 years older and some looked quite different. I realize that as I enter the AARP stage of life that I will look “mature” even if I’m not.

Paul gives some final words of encouragement to the church at Corinth in his last letter to them. Check this out…

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 CSB)

I’ve certainly met people who are older, but are not mature. They are whiny and self-centered to the point that I don’t enjoy being around them. I’ve also met other older people who are kind and gracious, realizing that life doesn’t revolve around them. They have learned to love deeply and help others along the way.

Here are a few other characteristics of mature people:

Control their tongue

Show patience with others

Encourage others, especially younger people

Accepting their role in the lives of others

Self-less love

Peace makers

Trusted confidant

Consistently kind

Faithful

Honest

I could make a long list, but I’ll stop there. I want to grow old with grace and truth at the top of mind. I want to be an “old person” that younger people will enjoy being around. I won’t take myself so seriously. I want to finish this life strong with my walk with the Lord obvious to those who live, work and fellowship with me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Integrity Test

Always Time to Do What's Right Saying Clock QuoteThere is a line that seems to get crossed often when it suits certain people’s whims or wishes. There is always a line that separates right and wrong; good and bad. I’ve seen people do some really crazy things to protect themselves and their possessions. They seem to be willing to make a deal with just about anyone for any reason to protect themselves at all costs – even it flies in the face of honest and honorable behavior.

Integrity by definition is: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. Another way of saying this is a quote credited to the late Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the US Senate who said: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I will confess to failure many times when it comes to standing upon my faith in the Lord. His Word has integrity. His actions have integrity. His love has never given up on me.

This meeting that the Lord had with some of His angels and Satan was there was pretty interesting. Job had evidently passed the first test when all he had was taken from him. The second test is going to be way different a fight for his own life. Check this out…

3 Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’

4 ‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’

6 The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

9 His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’

10 He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:3-10 NIV)

Integrity is a must for all great leaders. Their word needs to mean something. They can’t let their belief system simply blow whichever way the wind is blowing. I believe integrity to be an important part of the moral code of a person. Integrity says that what I say and what I do are in complete harmony. There are times that what I say and what I believe are in conflict because my mouth starts moving before my heart and mind are engaged. Jesus clearly says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks and there are times my heart needs a good cleaning. I think integrity starts with my heart. I want my heart to be completely devoted to the Lord and His call upon my life. I want the words of my mouth and all my actions to come from deep within my heart that is sold out to Him. I want to live honorably from that place of deep integrity. I can already see why Job is held in high esteem – his patient endurance of suffering has set a really high benchmark for sure. He is the epitome of integrity in the midst of great suffering and pain. He passed the integrity test with “flying colors”!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Trust With Treasure

Trust with blue markerOver the years, I’ve become a bit less trusting of people in certain areas. I think that some people live by deep convictions and would never lie, cheat or steal. Then there are others who appear trustworthy, but somehow justify taking a little for themselves here or there. I’m thinking specifically of people who serve in the area of managing other people’s money. I think it’s important to take extra precautions to assure that there are no misunderstandings or mistakes made.

King David had appointed people as singers, gatekeepers, and also treasurers. He had some of the Levite descendants who took care specifically of his treasury. When they defeated another king in battle, they would seize the plunder and put it in the king’s treasury. Check this out…

26 Shelomith and his relatives were in charge of all the treasuries for the things dedicated by King David, by the heads of families who were the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and by the other army commanders. 27 Some of the plunder taken in battle they dedicated for the repair of the temple of the Lord. 28 And everything dedicated by Samuel the seer and by Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner and Joab son of Zeruiah, and all the other dedicated things were in the care of Shelomith and his relatives. (1 Chronicles 26:26-28 NIV)

I can only imagine what a job it was to keep inventory of the Kings treasury. David was very successful as king, and he seemed to have lots of treasure. I also think that David was a good leader and he knew he had to have wise and trusted people around him to help manage his success.

As I read this passage this am, I was reminded of the word accountability. I believe that when someone is managing other peoples money, there should be layers of accountability to protect the people managing the money as well as the person whose money it is.

Accountability says that I’m vulnerable.

Accountability says that I’m trustworthy.

Accountability says that I’m honest and open.

Accountability is protection.

Accountability is promise.

I think it’s wise to always recognize who I’m accountable too. As a follower of Jesus, I am accountable to Him in everything. I think it’s also wise to have an accountability partner with the same values and who represents the Lord in my life. A person with values like mine will not hesitate to speak truth into me. I do believe that trust is a two-way street until it’s violated. It’s takes time to restore trust as well as humility and forgiveness. Trust is a strong but delicate attribute in all relationships.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Fake It

 

What can I do? picture about regretI think most everyone fakes it to a certain level. I have accidently ran into people that I really don’t like being around and pretended it was good to see them. I have also faked having fun when I was really bored. I know that I’m probably the only one who has ever faked it. (Please note the sarcasm!) I do not like being faked out or someone faking it around me. I’ve worked hard the past several years to simply be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. I can simply be me. I don’t have to be rude or obnoxious when I don’t like something, but I don’t have to fake it either.

King Saul threatened David’s life even after he was anointed king. David was waiting on God’s timing and he was determined to show respect to The Lord’s anointed. David lies to Ahimilech the priest and I’m sure he was straight up desperate to survive his fugitive status with King Saul. David flees to Gath, the Philistine enemy, and seeks asylum. He figures out how to stay alive while there. Check this out…

10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, ‘Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:

‘“Saul has slain his thousands,

    and David his tens of thousands”?’

12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he feigned insanity in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. (1 Samuel 21:10-13 NIV)

David did what he had to do to stay alive. I think I could fake insanity if it meant survival. Faking it is closely related to false. I believe that faking it is really dishonest. I want to be liked so I pretend to like others. I will say that I have a pretty high tolerance of people that get on my nerves. I do have a threshold that once it’s crossed, it’s hard for me to take much more. I do believe that being direct and honest is probably a better course to take than faking it or pretending. I’ve found that the truth has a way of working it’s way to the top.

I will do my best to be honest and forthright to others even if it is hard. I know what it’s like to have people pretend to like me, and then talk bad about me behind my back – it hurts more than a direct confrontation conversation.

I want to be real.

I want to be kind.

I want to be direct.

I want to be gentle.

I want to be honest.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Honest & Honorable

Always Time to Do What's Right Saying Clock QuoteSome people really are who they say they are. I’ve met many people over the years who in places of leadership and power who appear on the outside to be good people. If I look closer and see how they treat their staff, their family or others around them, I realize it’s all a show. I can present to you the best possible “front” and you may actually believe that I’m like that all the time. In reality I have my moments of anger or frustration. The issue is more about how I handle myself in moments of anger and frustration than about the emotion itself.

My Pappy operated a country store for many years while I was a kid growing up. He had scales because he sold cheese, meat and other food items by the pound. He had to check the scales every now and then to make sure they measured weight correctly. He would rather loose a sale and be honest than to make a sale by being the least bit dishonest.

In the miscellaneous rule of law category that Moses gave the Israelite people right before they entered the Promised Land, he speaks to honest measurements. Check this out…

13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag – one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house – one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly. (Deuteronomy 25:13-16 NIV)

I think being honest and honorable has been etched in my brain over the years. I grew up with honest and honorable parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I was clearly taught the difference between right and wrong. In fact so much of what I learned I now view as “common sense”. However, I’ve also realized that “common sense” isn’t so “common” any more.

I believe if you have to lie to sell something – you shouldn’t sell it.

I can always live with myself, when I treat others honestly.

I believe God honor’s integrity and honesty in the simplest forms.

Right is always right and wrong is always wrong.

God loves it when His kids are honest & honorable.

Pressing On!

Dwayne