As mentors, we stand in a significant position when it comes to being a voice in the lives of those we mentor. We want the Word to be the most prominent voice in their hearts and minds, but God often calls us to carry a word of truth to help shape, guide,and correct a certain way of thinking or behaving.
For some of us, that’s easy and we can’t wait for the opportunity to graciously share what could change, how they could choose to act, what they could do or say differently. For others, the thought of saying anything that might hurt someone’s feelings or make the moment uncomfortable and awkward is absolutely terrifying. Undoubtedly, we will all find ourselves in a place of needing to speak truth to our mentees. So how do we do that in a way that honors God first and our mentees’ hearts and lives as well?
Jesus has modeled for us the perfect posture of how to carry ourselves as mentors in these moments. In John 1:14 we read:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus is full of grace and truth. When He came, Jesus presented a revolutionary idea of living not just by law, but also by grace, of which He lived and spoke. He still brought the truth, but it was never spoken without the grace of God present with it; grace led, and was followed by truth. That should be the pattern we follow as well-leading with grace, and allowing truth to be spoken out of that.
Ephesians 4 is also full of gold on this topic. A few verses that stand out:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient with one another in love.” 4:2
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” 4:15
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful forbuilding others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” 4:29