Not everyone has the right motives for mentoring others. Sometimes, people don’t know how to face their own problems, so they try to fix other people’s problems in order to feel better about themselves. That causes hurt rather than healing.
Sophiculture Ministries is here to help you get healed from hypocrisy, so that you can help others from a place of delight, rather than guilt. What are your motives? Do you help people because you want to meet God’s standards for you? If so, this is selfish. You’re using other people for your need to measure up.
Here’s what happens when we do this. We start out by giving advice. Since we don’t really know what that person is going through, the person isn’t helped. This person thought we were offering them friendship and support, and is disappointed to find out that our advice doesn’t work for them.
WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK?
Church is wherever we’re assembled, even by phone. Find a daily prayer partner and know that someone’s fighting for you!
You and I both know that we don’t want each other’s human counsel. What we need is to live a surrendered lifestyle of actively partnering with the Holy Spirit daily. When you’re living that way, your advice for others will lead them into the surrendered mindset, too. That’s the only thing that will truly help them.
When you’re delighted and satisfied in partnership with God, you’ll notice others who need this. You’ll start asking God if you can help them in their discipleship journey.
As you invite people to do one-on-one mentoring with you, you’ll find out that many people don’t want to face their own condition. You’ll have to fish for people who are ready to receive long-term support.
Before we talk about how to do that, let’s clarify a few things:
- God can mentor his people just fine without you. He’s involving you because he enjoys showing you the love in his father’s heart.
- His strength is made perfect in your weakness, so it’s normal to feel weak. You’ll lack confidence when you’re just starting out. Confidence will come from experience and equipping.
- We’re walking you through this process so that you feel equipped even if you’re inexperienced.
- With the tools in our Illumination course, you can mentor someone to go to Jesus as their true mentor. (See the bottom of this page to learn more about Illumination.)
Let’s not be naive when offering one-on-one discipleship. You can see the people around you who are desperate for God. Yet, these same people might hesitate to receive his love. Why?
Why People Hesitate to Receive Discipleship
Put yourself in their shoes:
- They may have been in their desperate situation for a long time. They may have tried to pray, read their Bible and go to church. When their obedience didn’t satisfy their need for God’s love, they felt like a failure.
- They may have gone to other people for guidance and gotten obligation-based advice. Without a clear path for delighting in God, they experienced even more failure.
- They may have invested substantial amounts of time and money into counseling that didn’t work for them. They didn’t realize that the counselors were offering human wisdom that wasn’t leading them into God’s love.
- If they feel like a failure, they’ll need some time to watch you in order to gain the confidence that your faith rests on God’s goodness, not your own. They know that more human advice will only end in frustration and failure.
So let’s cut to the chase. Does your faith really rest on God’s goodness and not your own?
Often, we try to help others because we feel bad for them. Then, we find out that that they can’t fix their problems by following our “godly” advice. Now, we feel even worse for them. Mistakenly, we assume that something’s wrong in their relationship with God and we move on to help someone else. They’ve gotten the message that they’ve failed, and we’ve decided that it’s not our problem. We blame them and then we feel relieved that our life isn’t as messed up as theirs is. (Am I right?)
Let’s talk about this self-righteousness. The Bible calls it pride. Job 41 names the king of pride: leviathan.
We see from verse 15 that “his scales are his pride.” Verses 18-21 tell us that his eyes shine, smoke comes out of his nostrils and flame comes out of his mouth. What animal has scales and breathes fire? A dragon (in this case, a sea dragon).
We can detect the dragon/leviathan stronghold by its comparison trap. Verse 34 says that the leviathan is “a king over all the children of pride.” Revelation 20:2 names the dragon as “that old serpent… Satan.” (Have you read about the trap of the accuser in our Identity Strategy? The Pharisees were referred to as vipers.) So you can see that this is the demonic kind of pride, not the delight that you feel when your daughter takes her first steps.
Why is this particular kind of pride so dangerous? Because it tricks people into thinking that they have God’s right ways when really it’s not God moving at all.
Why People Give Up On Church
Think about all of the people who say that they’ve given up on “church” or “Christianity” because it seemed so hypocritical. What happened there?
This person was in some kind of need, whether spiritual, emotional or physical. Christians offered to help meet this need and the person thought that God was finally showing up with a solution. Suddenly, these Christians did a bait and switch. Now this person had to meet a list of unspoken expectations in order to receive “God’s” (human) help. They were expected to show up in church and act like a Christian. If they didn’t, the help would stop and/or they’d be looked down on.
That’s what “help” looks like to an outsider in pain.
This person shouldn’t have been obliged to meet human expectations. Their need was unconditional love without strings attached. If a Christian had mentored them through the process of receiving this love from God, (s)he could then have introduced necessary accountability. (See our battle-planning strategy for more about this.)
For example, if this person needed a job, a Christian could have offered to get to know this person through ongoing private mentoring and helped them to find just the right job. If the person needed salvation, a Christian could have mentored them one-on-one to help them to hear God’s voice through their doubts.
When pride comes into the picture, people get burned. Instead of being unconditionally and personally supported, they’re welcomed into a beautiful church community. Then, they discover that inside this religious system, these Pharisees are full of dead men’s bones. These Christians spend their time comparing themselves to immature people and then secretly looking down on them for not measuring up.
Therefore, it’s vital that we check our motives before we invite someone into a mentoring relationship.
First, realize that people need help because they have problems. They’ve probably already tried all of the advice that you can think to give them. Their relationship with God may be in crisis, and it also may be just as strong as yours is.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mentor them. It just means that you’re not better than them. You’re not smarter than them. You’re not more responsible than they are. You’re simply the person that God has picked to be their friend. That’s it.
Hypocrites look at vulnerable people and thank God that they’re not in their shoes. Servant leaders look at vulnerable people and see God opening the way for more of his strength and anointing.
How you see others betrays your own position before God.
Which Season Are You In?
As you read the four modes below, pause and ask God which one describes you. What are you really experiencing each day? Don’t just pick your favorite option. There’s no point in hiding situations that God wants to open up and heal.
When you’re in denial mode, you’re ignoring your pain. The pain in your life piles up, and then it gets stuffed away. The good things that happen are bittersweet because you’re in charge most of the time, not God. The fruit of peace, love and joy is mostly external, not the real fruit of the vine. Any good impact that you have on others is routine and superficial.
When you’re in survival mode, you’ve taken off the mask. You’re no longer pretending to have your life under control. When you wake up each morning, your painful situations remind you instantly of your need for the Holy Spirit. Here in the middle of your mess, you’re learning to pay attention to his guidance so that you can feel his delightful gifts of love, joy and peace.
When you’re in thriving mode, pain triggers your prayer reflexes. Good outcomes motivate you to make Spirit-led decisions. Your fruit of love, joy and peace is blossoming and others are enjoying its beauty. Your blossoms aren’t yet dropping seeds of God’s word onto the harvest field, but you’re making an impact through your example of Spirit-led living.
And then there’s revival mode. In this place, you see every painful situation as your opportunity for growth. Little pleasures are instant reminders for you to celebrate God’s love. Your love, joy and peace are full of little scripture seeds that you sprinkle into in the hearts of those around you. Your impact is intentional and evident to all.
These four modes are like seasons that we go through. We may feel like we’re rotating between them. At the same time, our life story may show a large-scale movement from denial mode into salvation and then into the other three modes.
What to Do About It
Let’s talk about what to do about where you’re at, right now.
If you’re in denial mode, it’s time to come to God for the truth. It’s probably not yet the right time for you to offer to mentor others. After going to God with your situation and getting his plan, I suggest asking him for a friend who has experienced coming out of denial mode and into survival mode. The good news is that your best days are still ahead. (If you’ve never experienced freedom from guilt and pride, click here.)
If you’re in survival mode, things might not look pretty right now. You’ve declared war on blindness. You’re no longer willing to sit around in self-pity just because you’ve been burned by the self-righteousness of others. Maybe you’ve had to watch certain things fall apart, like your friendships or finances, because you’ve run to Jesus to be free from self-right-ness. Now, you may want to ask God for a mentor to help you understand his plan for handling the mess. He’ll move you into thriving mode when he’s ready.
If you’re in thriving mode, you’ve already spent time in that vulnerable, messy place. You’ve been looked down on by those who didn’t understand. You’ve suffered through the games and rejection of hypocritical people. You know how much it hurts to come to God with viper venom in your veins. You’ve come out of the wilderness, leaning on your beloved. But, you haven’t forgotten all those who are still wandering in the desert. It might be time for you to ask God for someone to mentor.
If you’re in revival mode, you’re a fisher of men. You know that most people won’t accept your invitation for one-on-one discipleship. You don’t waste your time trying to judge people’s motives by their outward behavior. You’re okay with the fact that you might meet with someone for awhile and then get cast aside just as you’re starting to get attached. You’re not trying to create chemistry between them and God. You’ve got your own chemistry with him, and you’re satisfied.
The good news is that you can have a mentor and be a mentor at the same time. Most coaches have coaches. Seriously. If God leads you to mentor someone when you’re in survival mode, ask God for a mentor so that you can be guided as you go.
If pride and hypocrisy scare you, please don’t try to protect yourself by staying away from them. You can’t protect yourself from being hypocritical. What you can do is let your snakebites heal by talking about them openly with God. He wants to hear everything that’s on your heart. He wants to go through your pain with you on his cross so that you can move forward into delighting in him.
If you live in fear of survival mode, you’ll stay in a place that’s far more dangerous: denial. If you’re afraid that you’ll always be in survival mode, reach out for that Christian friend who’s come out of that place and is now thriving.
If you’re afraid of revival mode, just admit it. You can’t accidentally end up as a fisher of men. You’ll want it when the time comes for you to be there. If you’re not excited for revival, you’re not ready for it. Be where you’re at.
If you’re excited about revival mode and terrified at the same time, that could mean that you’re heading in the right direction.
Our signature program here at Sophiculture, Illumination, is built to fully equip women for one-on-one mentoring and discipleship. It’ll give you the strategies to move into revival mode. (Our men’s program is still in progress as of February 2020.)
If you’re a woman, we invite you to book a free discovery call with us to talk about whether Illumination might be the next right step for you. If not, we may offer you private coaching to help you move forward. Either way, you’ll leave the call with a free copy of our groundbreaking guide, Roadmap to Revival. Click here to book your free call.
Above all, keep delighting in Him!
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