Becoming a Leader: Mentor’s Matter!
“May the Lord give you discretion & understanding when He puts you in command of Israel so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees & laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. 1 Chronicles 22: 15).
In our fire service journey, before we stepped up into a position of leadership, we should be extremely grateful for the wisdom of our mentors. Their life story is priceless wisdom.
Today’s scripture is an excerpt of the conversation between King David and his son Solomon. He is praying for his son’s future and giving him specific instructions for his future.
David was one of the greatest men in the Bible; in fact, he was a ‘man after God’s own heart.’ Does that mean he was perfect?
Far from it…
He committed adultery and even murder yet what was different about David?
It was his heart. When David sinned, he was genuinely heartbroken and repented. He wrote about his pains (in the Psalms) and he prayed fervently.
As firefighters, we often start off with vibrant passion for what we do. We all can probably list a few individuals who played a key role in the beginning , middle, and latter years of our service.
Therein lies the wisdom of David for us today. He is instructing his son in “the way he should go” and giving him the means to stay accountable: “keeping and observing the laws of the Lord your God”.
He gives him encouragement for the years ahead as if foreseeing the trials Solomon would face. How would we have handled things differently if we knew certain trials were coming? This is wisdom and understanding.
David had been there and knew what trials Solomon would face as King. As we look back at our lives, how often did we dismiss the wisdom of our elders?
How many people have come along side of us and tried to offer their advice to us?
How many years later was it before we realized “I wish I would have listened and applied in my life what they told me.”
I know I am just now, at 38 years of age, beginning to understand how many mistakes I have made by not listening to the voice of wisdom.
My story is that I spent the first 30 years of my life ignoring the wisdom of others. I did it ‘my way’ and have the scars to prove it.
The scars of ‘our way’ can include:
Rebellion, pre-marital sex, drugs & alcohol, broken relationships within our families, divorce, etc.
God offers us this free gift of wisdom and understanding through the fear of the Lord. If we would but seek Him in His word, humble ourselves, and take time to listen to our heart He would yet speak to us.
The Application: It’s never too late.
Stop for a moment and think of all those who have cared enough to counsel you…
Where are they now?
How have they impacted your life?
God places His servants in the lives of His children for their benefit. They may be angels sent as ‘ministering spirits’ to guide us along our journey.
If we would only listen to what is being said to us today with an open mind and an open heart.
How do we get wisdom?
Wisdom and understanding comes from acknowledging that it comes from outside ourselves.
It comes from God-by seeking Him through study, prayer, worship, and service. Do we study God’s word as much as we study other things?
It comes from surrounding ourselves with ‘wise counsel’, listening, and applying their words in our lives.
It comes through humility. ‘Admitting there are things you do not know is one thing, but admitting there are things you will never know is another matter entirely’ (A.W. Tozer)
Let us all seek wisdom through God, through His word, and through the wisdom of others. Let us not dismiss the wisdom of the trials and tribulations of our mentors. We pray that we may learn from them.