Do you want to know a surefire way to waste 10 years of your life?
Spend time learning things on your own that you could’ve learned from a mentor.
This isn’t just practical common sense – it’s a biblical concept.
The Bible speaks clearly about gathering wisdom from reading God’s word. But that’s not the only source that God has given us to instruct us.
A major way that God communicates his wisdom to us is other people.
It seems obvious, I know. But really meditate on it for a while. The implications are staggering.
Handed Down From One to Another
Parents pass down their knowledge to children. Moses had Joshua. Elijah had Elisha. Jesus had the twelve.
In Titus 2, Paul instructs older women to teach the younger ones. In 2 Timothy 2, he tells Timothy to pass his knowledge on to faithful men who will teach other faithful men (who will teach other faithful men).
Proverbs speaks repeatedly about the benefits of the wisdom from others:
Proverbs 11:14 – “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Proverbs 15:22 – “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 13:20 – “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Are You Living This Out?
Take a step back and think about this: God communicates wisdom through other people.
God wants us to be wise and understanding. James 1:5 says that God will absolutely give us wisdom when we ask for it.
But one of the means he uses to communicate that wisdom is through others.
It would be foolish to desire wisdom from God’s word and then never open your Bible. So are you seeking out the wise to help you in the issues you’re struggling with right now?
Are you essentially turning your back on a central way that God can work in your life?
All Truth Is God’s Truth
Here’s another important point: This isn’t just about spiritual wisdom. This isn’t just about scriptural knowledge.
If you want to know how to fix your home, maybe God’s guidance in that area will come to you through a handy friend of yours or a home improvement website.
If you want to get physically fit, maybe God has blessed you with a friend who’s in shape and willing to help you get there as well.
If you want to launch your own business, maybe God’s path of wisdom for you is to seek out those who have been successful starting businesses of their own.
Whether you’re a pastor, an entrepreneur, a salesperson, a politician, a homemaker, a plumber, a mechanic, a musician, or a teacher – one of the best uses of your time is to seek out and learn from those who have been there before you.
And don’t think this has to be about finding that one perfect mentor. Have multiple mentors, each in their own area – people with knowledge and wisdom that can guide you in the various facets of your life.
Why the Reluctance?
Why don’t people do this more often?
I think part of it is that we simply don’t value the wisdom of others. We don’t realize the crucial difference it could make in whatever we’re undertaking.
Second, we’re hesitant to do the hard work of finding and approaching mentors.
Third, sometimes it’s just our pride that wants to go it alone instead of to lean on the counsel of others.
Have you had success with learning from the wisdom of others? Is there any area of your life where you really need a mentor right now?
Photo Credit: John Haslam (Creative Commons)
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