“…continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul’s spiritual son, Paul gives us an example of mentoring we can follow in our own lives. As we read Paul’s words to Timothy we discover Paul is deeply committed to his purpose for mentoring Timothy. Despite the pain and personal challenges Paul faced, he didn’t let the pain he was going through dissuade him from his purpose.
Paul challenges Timothy to “continue” in the things he has learned and become convinced of. That word “continue” is a command and in the Greek it carries the meaning of “keep on keeping on”. In other words, keep doing the things I taught you and the things you learned from childhood.
As we read Paul’s letter we realize something. Paul does three things as Timothy’s mentor we can apply to our own mentoring experience. First, Paul creates an atmosphere of accountability, challenging Timothy to continue doing what he knows to be true. Second, Paul affirms Timothy when he contrasts his son with evil men. “…evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived, you, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of” (from 2 Timothy 3:13-14). And third, we realize that Paul’s entire letter to Timothy is a short course in discipleship, giving Timothy instructions on how to live an effective life.
Paul encourages Timothy to learn from Paul and follow what Paul said, how Paul lived and what Paul lived for.
Jesus gives us the same example to follow in the Gospels. We will all most likely experience opportunities to mentor others in our own walk with Jesus. Paul’s mentoring of Timothy shows us how we can mentor others to live effective lives as disciples of Jesus.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the mentoring example you show us in Paul’s letter to Timothy. Father, help us to be sensitive to those around us who may need mentoring. And encourage us, O God, to study and know Him through His word, that we might be equipped for every good work. If we discover that we need mentoring in our walk, Lord, provide that mentor for us at the moment of our need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.