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The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice board
Are you ready to be STRETCHED? Then it’s time to search out a mentor.
During my freshman year of college a powerful mentor came into my life named Ron Harris.  It was at the beginning of my junior summer that Ron offered me some timely advice in the form of a question. I was a walk-on athlete who had seemed to found a permanent starting position on the scout team.  He asked me this question: “Josh, if you never step foot on the field and never see one down of real-time as a college athlete, will you stay with the team for the purposes and the glory of God?” Considering his question in light of my situation was stretching to say the least. I was 8th on the depth chart and there seemed to be no hope for ever seeing playing time. But that’s what great mentors do. They STRETCH you for your own good.  Let me offer in this two-part blog post seven ways inviting a mentor into your life can help you stretch and grow. I will offer three here.
1. Speak (Mentors can speak another language)  Our language begins to dig ruts for us and box us in to a certain pattern of effectiveness.  When a mentor looks into our world, they can speak another language and help us see life from a fresh perspective.  The scriptures teach us to “speak the truth in love.”  That’s a great motto for mentors. They see something bigger and speak something better. As a men-tee this means we need to become great listeners.
2. Test (Mentors can test your skills) Often we end up performing at average levels. This could be due to many reasons, however, I believe one of those reasons is that our skills are unchallenged or untested.  A great mentor will understand the value of testing your skills and challenging your performance.  As the men-tee this means we need to invite and embrace the testing process; not despise it.
3. Review (Mentors can review your thoughts) To many times we get caught up in group think. Our thought patterns become negative when left to themselves.  We need the divine mentor of the scriptures but also the human mentors in our lives to review our thoughts with us and process if we are thinking correctly.  Sometimes my wife will look in the mirror and ask; “do I look fat?” That’s when I kindly respond to my lovely wife that her brain has stopped working and she needs to trust my review of her looks today.  It happens to us all. Our brain seems to break for a day or two and we have lapses of productive thinking.  As a mentee, we need to invite the stretching power of a mentor to review our thoughts.
A key to personal growth, for me, is finding someone who will mentor areas where I need to be stretched. It’s made all the difference. What has been your mentor experience? To be continued…