As a mentor and a spiritual mother to a few young adults over the years, I’ve often shaken my head as I watched them topple right back into sinful patterns they swore they’d never return to. I could see the warning signs they were headed for trouble. And yet, I had to walk the fine line between pointing out the road signs along the way and stepping back to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.
It is exceedingly painful to watch as they experience the consequences of poor decisions. My heart aches even as I want to throttle them! And then I remember the foolish and selfish decisions I made when I was in my early 20s and give them a break.
I think back to the presumption I lived under, as did so many of my friends at the time. “God’ll take care of us; we don’t need to work that hard. It’ll all work out in the end. God worked miracles for Corrie ten Boom and Brother Andrew and so many others. He’ll take care of us.”
Only after I had to live with the consequences of my lack of motivation and my lack of personal responsibility did I finally figure it out. Yes, God supplies. However, He didn’t create me to be a trust fund kid. He wants me to partner with Him in the kingdom, working alongside Him.
Not only did I walk in presumption and entitlement, but I also returned to the sins of my past during times of stress. I thank God for those who lovingly spoke into my life by sharing their struggles and how they overcame them. By their transparency, they paved the way for me to open my heart to them. They were not afraid to confront. However, they did so with unconditional love. With their help, I stepped out of some very destructive patterns.
Despite it all, God got me through. It’s funny though, conversations I had with mentors decades ago ring in my ears today. I wasn’t listening back then; it would have been so much better if I had. But God taught me the hard way.
I thank God that the mentors in my life never stopped praying for me, even when I refused to listen to wise counsel.
It’s easy for me to let go of judgmentalism toward the young and immature when I remember my own foolishness and outright sinful behaviour. I’ve learned that my job is first to be a friend, then a confidant and lastly a wise counsel, but only if they so wish me to be.
May I be as faithful an intercessor as those who prayed for me!
Are you a mentor, spiritual parent, or biological parent of young adults? Do you tend to counsel before you listen and confront before you love? Do you consider their sometimes foolish and sometimes outright sinful decisions as a personal affront? Take these answers to the Lord.
Keep on loving, keep on praying. Study the heart of the Prodigal Son’s father. How did he interact with his sons? Was he trying to control their behaviour? What drew the prodigal back home, beyond an empty belly? What was his response to his bitter son? How do you respond to angry retorts? Do you continue to love those who take advantage of your unconditional love?
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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