when mentoring exposes your idol of being needed

Sharing the gospel is inextricably tied to sharing other aspects of life with those we’re mentoring. Consider what the apostle Paul says: “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Biblical mentoring requires engaging the whole person for more than just a scheduled time each week or month. It includes meeting for lunch or coffee, showing up for an important event in the life of the woman you’re mentoring, inviting her to be part of your life or family, serving together, and even enjoying together the seemingly “frivolous” activities such as watching a movie or going shopping.

Life-on-life ministry comes quite naturally to many of us women as we love to care, nurture, and share emotional intimacy. Yet as in every other relationship, there is danger that I find my identity in mentoring another young woman and so become enmeshed in an unhealthy relationship. My definition of “unhealthy relationship” is a relationship where one of my idols takes the central place that belongs to Jesus. In mentoring, this can happen when my idol of being needed replaces Jesus as what I am worshiping and serving in our relationship.

Warning Signs

What does this idolatry look like, and how can you establish healthy biblical boundaries?

[… Read the rest of the article here at The Gospel Coalition Blog where I’m a guest writer today.]

3 thoughts on “when mentoring exposes your idol of being needed

  1. I read that this morning and didn’t realize it was you. Thanks for such a great, thoughtful article about a relevant topic

  2. Kari and Heather, thanks for your encouragement! I submitted a few articles to the Gospel Coalition for their consideration, and am humbled that they selected this one to publish.

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