The Apostle Paul mentored Timothy and Titus, but do we still need Christian mentors in our lives?
Men Mentoring Men
The Apostle Paul mentored Timothy and Titus, so the question is, “Do we still need Christian mentors in our lives?” If they needed a mentor then, wouldn’t this help us today? I believe that every young Timothy in the church needs an older Paul to mentor them, but just as importantly, every Paul should be mentoring a younger believer. Mentoring is a dying art in the church, but today it’s more important than ever. Every older Christian man and woman should be mentoring someone because they have so much to offer a younger believer in the faith, chiefly, their experience. And, they see our blind spots more easily than we can, plus they can point out issues we need to work on. These mentors can also help us avoid making the same mistakes they made.
Women Mentoring Women
The Apostle Paul instructed Titus on how the older women in the church are to behave, but one important aspect was to “train the young women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:4), while still treating “older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Tim 5:2). Clearly, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good” (Titus 2:3), and they teach “what is good” to the younger women in the church.
With God’s help and His Spirit, some men and women have been able to overcome an addiction or stronghold in their life because of their accountability partner who calls weekly or every few days to see how the one they’re mentoring is doing. If the one who is struggling over some besetting sin, then they mentor will ask them how they did this past week. The one being mentored knows they’ll either have to lie about it and say they haven’t fallen into that sin this week…or, they’ll be embarrassed and have to confess to their mentor that they did it again. Either way, their accountability partner makes them accountable for their actions and expects them to report their failures every week or few days…or their success. The next time they’re tempted, they’ll naturally think, “Wait a minute! If I do this again, I’m going to feel terrible about it and have to let my mentor know…or, I’m going to feel worse and lie about it…so maybe I shouldn’t do it in the first place.” Can you see how that might work? Many strongholds have been shattered by a dedicated, compassionate mentor, or sometimes called an accountability partner.
The Value of Counsel
The importance of godly counsel cannot be understated. The Bible says it is to our advantage to seek godly counsel, and a mentor can give us just that. Even though I am a pastor, I had a mentor; a very wise retired pastor (due to health) that mentored me for over twenty years. I owe that man so much, but will have to wait to get to heaven before I can thank him because he’s passed into glory. Most Christians understand that “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov 11:14), and that “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov 15:22). Of course, our greatest counselor is God Himself and His Spirit, and why the Psalmist wrote, “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7). The Word of God is the best counsel you can receive, so stay in the Word and let the Word of God and the Spirit of God mentor you (as they do me) because, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). Human counsel cannot make that claim.
There is no room for pride for either the mentor or the one being mentored. God resists the proud (James 4:6) and the one being mentored may resist the mentor if they’re too full of themselves. It’s hard to accept constructive criticism when a person feels they’re being looked down upon. The mentor and the one being mentored should remember that we all stand on the same level ground at the foot of the cross; none higher…none lower. We are all equal opportunity sinners before God. When we forget that, we’ll lose our effectiveness as a mentor and our usefulness to God. Elisha mentored King Jehoash and others in the Old Testament, but before Elisha mentored the king, he was mentored by Elijah. Jesus mentored His disciples and both Barnabas and Paul excelled in mentoring (Acts 9–15), so this is an ongoing work we do for others for their benefit and for the benefit of the church.
If you don’t have a mentor yet, think about someone you might know. Who’s an older Christian that you can trust and confide in? Someone you don’t have to worry about gossiping or sharing it with others? There are several men and women in the church who can fill that role…but don’t forget to find someone younger than you and seek to help them and guide them…or be a mentor to them. Remember that every young Timothy needs an older Paul, but ever Paul should be looking for a young Timothy that they can mentor. It’s not only biblical, but it’s so beneficial to our Christian walk in this life.
Here is some related reading for you: What Does a Spiritual Mentor do in the Life of a Christian? 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.