lørdag 10. desember 2016

A mentor sets free ...

If you have responsibility for children, you know how important it is to dare to let go of control. I still remember the feeling of letting go of their hand when they were learning to walk, and even worse when they were learning to ride a bike. I knew they were going to fall, and that I would be too far away to prevent it happening. However, I knew that if I did not let it happen, I would hamper, and not promote their growth.

This principle is fundamentally in a relationship between a mentor and a disciple. In yesterday’s reflection I looked at the fact that Timothy also had his ‘downfalls’. Because he had experienced it himself, I am sure Paul knew that Timothy would experience the pain of defeats of those times when the result was another than the one he had hoped and prayed for:

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Tim 1:3-5
Every leader who needs to deal with the difficulties, knows how painful it can be. I confess that it was tough when I was young like Timothy, and more than 40 years after I became an officer in the Salvation Army, it can still be tough. But if we have issues that do not advance God’s work, they need to be addressed. Then it is good to be reminded of what it is all about. For Paul it was all about faith. He had tried the law and the letter, but it did not give him life, it only gave him religion.

It was the same for Martin Luther until he discovered the principle of "Sola Fide" – “by faith alone” – through reading Paul’s testimony:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Rom 1:16-17
Faith is what the mission is all about, but it is not the goal. Faith is the means. The goal of the mission, as it is expressed in today's greeting to Timothy, I will elaborate on tomorrow.

Today 'manna':

A mentor must dare to release the disciple to ministry

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