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3 Reasons You Should Find a Mentor

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By: Chris Martin

One of the best decisions I have ever made is to have a “mentor” of sorts in my life at all times. Now, notice I call this person a “mentor,” and not a “pastor,” “discipler,” or some other Christian version of the word “mentor.”

This wording is intentional and important.

I always have a “mentor” because the person who mentors me isn’t necessarily discipling me. The guidance provided by my mentor is sometimes spiritual, sometimes work-related, occasionally marriage-related, etc.

I hope that my mentor is always pushing me to be more like Christ, but this often takes form in a variety of ways.

I have had a mentor since at least high school that I meet with regularly. I had one in high school, a different one in college, and a different one now in my role at LifeWay and in life in general.

I have always treasured my relationship with these guys, and I would not be any sort of respectable person today without them.

You need a mentor if you don’t have one. Here are three reasons why I think you need to find a mentor TODAY if you don’t have one yet:

Mentors keep you humble

One of the most significant ways my mentors have impacted me is by keeping me humble. This usually happens in two ways:

1) my mentor explicitly says something like, “Get off your high horse,” and/or

2) my mentor exceeds me in whatever area in which he is mentoring me.

This active and passive humbling has had a significant effect on me. I, like many, have prideful tendencies, and it is crucial that I have people in my life to humble me.

My wife does this regularly, and I’m thankful for that. Mentors do this well, too. If you need to be humbled, you should look to a mentor.

Mentors keep you accountable

“Accountability” comes in a variety of forms, doesn’t it? You can be held accountable for sin, for spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, for work activity, for marital issues, and more.

Over the years, as I’ve changed mentors when I’ve moved, all of my mentors have held me accountable in one area or the other.

In high school, my mentor held me accountable for my sin and my spiritual disciplines. In college, my mentor held my mind accountable, meaning he pushed me academically (he was one of my professors). He also held my attitude accountable, calling me out when I was a jerk.

Finally, he acted as an incredibly helpful sounding board for a whole host of topics—everything from personal finance to marriage preparation.

Mentors keep you honest. Mentors keep you in check. This may make you uncomfortable, but it is vitally important.

Mentors keep you motivated

I detest running, but I exercise regularly, lifting weights, walking, running, and all of that. A few Thanksgivings ago, when I did one of those Turkey Trot races, my brother pushed me to run faster than I usually do. He motivated me to improve.

Mentors can be great partners in all areas of work and life. The primary focus of the mentoring relationship I'm in right now is writing. My mentor is lightyears better at writing than I am, and he pushes me constantly to be a better thinker and a better writer.

This keeps me motivated.

Do you have a mentor? Why not? You should. Find one today. You can’t afford not to have one.

Find one that can speak to all areas of your life if possible, keeping you accountable spiritually and in all other areas.

At the very least, find someone who can keep you humble and help you better follow Christ.

Posted by Chris Martin with

Turning Up Grace And Obedience

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By: Megan Evans

I’ve often struggled with reconciling the relationship of grace and obedience.

I look at a particular sin in my life and flippantly think, “Oh, God’s grace covers that!” Or I look at what I have been sacrificing and think, “I bet God is proud of this!”

Within minutes of those exact thoughts, though, I look at that specific sin and think, “There is not enough grace in the world to cover this.” I look at what I have been sacrificing and think, “This can never be enough.”

When does this dissonance end? The better question to ask is, “In whom does this dissonance end?” Jesus Christ.

In Union with Christ, Wilbourne explains that we need to hear both grace and demand at full volume.

We need to hear Ephesians 2:8-9, that we have been saved by grace and not works. We need to remind ourselves of this daily. Hourly.

No sin can take us too far gone for God to love us. And there is nothing on earth we can do that could ever take away our need for dependence on him. Wilbourne says,

“Therefore, the remedy to our deepest wound and the antidote to Satan’s most venomous lie is a sure and certain confidence in the goodness of God toward us. Only those who believe in his grace will have the power to obey him.”

Where does this obedience part fit? “Only those who believe in his grace will have the power to obey him.” But I thought it was just grace alone that gave me faith? Hebrews 12:14 says, “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” Wilbourne contends,

“…because we are prone to excuse ourselves with the consolations of grace, and because we are awash in a sea of consumerism that leads us to define the gospel mainly in terms of the practical benefits it brings us, and because we can be given to sloth – we need to hear these voices that turn the call to follow Christ all the way up to full volume. Undiluted. The only way to know God is to follow him.”

Receiving grace and the benefits of sins washed clean requires faith. I have to believe that I am a sinner saved by grace. But because I believe in Christ, I believe that he is still making me new and that I still need him to turn from sin.

I can’t do this without obedience. I can’t worship a God because I am thankful for what he did for me in the past. No, I worship him by obeying because I am grateful for what he is continuing to do in my life.  

We can’t do both on our own, though. We can’t live up to the standards of obedience God calls us to. We can’t give ourselves enough grace to cover our sins.

The joining of 100% grace and 100% obedience is met in the person of Jesus Christ. And because of Christ living, dying, resurrecting for us, and sending his Spirit, we now are in union with him.

Union with Christ means “the work of Christ for us cannot be separated from the person of Christ in us (Wilbourne). He didn’t die an arbitrary death; he died so that he could be working in us with us.

Because of our union with Christ, obedience no longer feels like something we can’t reach. Grace no longer feels like something we can’t obtain. We can turn toward him, run to him, and be a part of what he has done and is doing.

Our sins are fully paid for by grace. We have all the power we need in Christ to continue to turn from sins toward Godliness: obedience. We have Christ dwelling in us.

“Our union with Christ is real but invisible. We must use “the eyes of [our] hearts” (Eph 1:18) to look not at what is seen, but what is unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). When temptation comes, you can say, “That’s not who I am anymore. I’m in Christ and Christ is in me. Christ, help me to be the person I am in you – by grace” (Wilbourne).

Posted by Megan Evans with

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