In 1942, a young black Cassius Clay was born into a neighborhood close to a Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. The Christians of that church evidently were so prejudiced that they would never take the time to reach for Christ, this young man whose skin was a different color and was perhaps a little on the cocky side. They would never spend the time to take an interest in him and help mold his thinking. Malcolm X, of the Black Muslims, DID take the time to mentor him. Christianity LOST a great person for Christ, because we did not give our love to him no matter how different he may have appeared or acted. Cassius Clay became known as Muhammad Ali, world boxing champion and arguably the best-known man in the world at one time.
Have you seen the news? I don’t watch the news, much. I LISTEN to the news and READ the news (and even that I try to limit my daily input) Watching barrage of murders of people in America—and around the world—most of which is committed by young men. I think, “How do such fine, innocent-looking young men get to the place where they are such a threat to society?” These were young men loved by parents who would only want the best for their children, yet somehow these promising young people turned out so wrong.
I have heard so many people say, “It doesn’t make any difference “what” you believe as long as you are “sincere” in your belief.” The tragedy of September 11th should have once-and-for-ever put an end to that pathetic statement! Every fanatic who continues to commit suicide and take with him so many innocent lives, “believes” very strongly in what he is doing. Every Fireman who rushed into those burning buildings to save others, “believed” very strongly in what he was doing. Both sets of individuals “believed” with all their hearts … and “lives” in what they were doing. However, one group believed for “good” and another for “evil.”
It IS very significant what a person believes!
How does one person come to so strongly act one way and another person take such contrary actions? The answer is very simple!
It involves the “thinking” of those people and who influenced that thinking over the years. You see, no conscious action is taken unless the mind so commands it to take that action. EVERY action begins in the mind. Therefore whatever information the mind takes in, IS essential. It boils down to who teaches or “mentors” that person.
Perhaps this is one reason Jesus said in Matt. 18:6, that it would be better for a person to have a heavy stone tied around his neck and to be drowned than to mislead a child. Paul also said in 1 Cor. 15:13, that evil communications can corrupt even good people! The teaching that we pass on to younger generations is one of the most important responsibilities we have.
Every opportunity we have to influence someone else for our Lord is a chance to affect for good or bad, a nation… or the world! Gandhi said that he would have become a Christian had it not been for some of the Christians he had seen. Well-meaning and sincere, self-righteous English Christian “gentlemen” had often abused him and other dark-skinned Indians since the Englishmen considered the Indian children to be inferior. Consequently, the nation of India was lost to the Gospel and to Christ because of the type of poor “mentor” those Christians had been.
As I was thinking about these lost souls, I began the think of those men who mentored me. (Click here to watch a Pecha Kucha Talk of my five mentors). And of course, my mom, dad, and older sisters established my thinking from the earliest I can remember. It was they who taught me to love God, Jesus, the Bible, and the Church!
But so often someone outside of your family seems to have more influence on you than your parents. I have seen this to be true in hundreds of lives I have encountered.
Perhaps you can make a determined effort to take someone else under your wing and try to help him. Eternity alone will reveal the far-reaching influence you will have for our Lord through your mentoring of even just one other young person.
Don’t forget that often YOU, as one who is NOT a member of that young person’s family, will have far more impact than his parents may have had. Can you remember how important it was to you when someone else took an interest in you? I am STILL thrilled when someone wants to help me! JUST THINK WHAT YOU WILL MEAN TO THAT OTHER PERSON WHEN YOU TRY TO HELP HIM!
Think of the ETERNAL dividends this investment may bring!
However, it is the burden and calling of a “MENTOR” to take that time and energy to help make the world a better place and to help transform others into disciples for Christ.
PLEASE. BE A MENTOR FOR OUR MASTER!
Sharing His Wonder,