This verse is a beautiful illustration of mentoring. When we pursue a career we welcome those who come along side us to train us and help us excel in our work.
Are we equally as open to having spiritual mentors in our life? We should be. Jesus commanded us to “go and make disciples.” A disciple is a student as well as a follower. Are you willing to be a student? If not, your knowledge will never exceed your own limitations. God created us to live in fellowship with other believers for a reason. Iron sharpens iron. How sharp are you? Without having other believers in your life to sharpen you, it’s easy to focus inward and become dull to the opportunities God wants to give you to impact others. The “Just me and Jesus” philosophy isn’t biblical.
My pastor talks about three different types of Christian friends we all need in our lives:
(a) We need friends who are ahead of us. These are the friends we follow. They are friends who are further along in their walk with God. God puts them there to mentor us, encourage us, guide us and correct us when necessary.
(b) We need friends who walk beside us. These are the friends at or near the same spiritual maturity as we are. God brings these friends into our lives for companionship and empathy. They can relate to the struggles we face and together we are stronger. We strengthen one another.
(c) We need friends who are behind us. These are the friends we lead. They are friends who are newer to the faith than we are. God brings these friends into our lives for us to nurture, disciple and help them grow stronger in their walk with God.
How balanced is your friend bucket? Are you missing one or more of the 3 types of friends described above? If so, ask God to bring people into your life in each of these capacities.