In listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg a few weeks ago, he made mention of three people that we all need in our lives–and even three people you need to be. Are you ready?
First, read through Titus 2:1-10. Go ahead–I’ll wait.
Good. You’ve read it? Now, let’s proceed.
A Paul. Having a Paul in your life means that you have someone to mentor you in the things of Christ. Paul served as a mentor to many, but most famously Timothy. Paul wrote to Timothy as his father in the faith (1 Timothy 1:1-2). He discipled Timothy to the point where he was fit and qualified to pastor the church in Ephesus.
Do you have a Paul in your life? It doesn’t have to be your pastor (in fact, it may be of some value if it’s not your pastor). But finding some spiritually mature man (for men) or woman (for women) to mentor you and disciple you in the faith is so very helpful in your Christian walk.
The hardest part is not simply realizing you need a Paul–the hardest part is surrendering your pride and taking action in approaching one. And if you’re approached, prayerfully consider this. You’ll find you’ll grow just as much as your Timothy.
A Timothy. Yes, speaking of Timothy: we as Christians need to look for someone to disciple. In Titus 2, we read of older women teaching younger women. In 2 Timothy 2:1-2, we read of teaching men who will teach others, who will in turn teach others. Why?
One, it’s a command. I believe God commands us because we wouldn’t do so otherwise. I mean, this is working in the trenches. Seasoned quarterbacks don’t like training their proteges simply because those proteges may take their jobs sooner than later. We like being the expert, the sage–but we may struggle in passing along that wisdom to others. When Christ commands something, then we know it’s good for us.
Two, it actually breeds humility, not pride. Discipleship is humbling. I have three men right now I’m discipling, and let me tell you it is humbling. You rely on Christ so heavily in this, because you realize you have nothing outside of Him to bring to the table. It’s His command, His word, His church–we just obey by His Spirit what He’s called us to do.
A Barnabas: Ah, Barnabas (given name and nickname, Joseph the Levite), the son of encouragement (Acts 4:32-37). Where others are skeptical and ready to give up on you, you have a man beside you that sees what God sees in you. Give up on John Mark, as Paul was inclined to do, Barnabas takes him under his wing (Acts 15:39ff). Worried about the apostle Paul’s conversion and coming among the church in Jerusalem? Barnabas put everyone at ease and they welcomed him (Acts 9).
Granted, an encourager even the likes of Barnabas could be carried away to do the wrong thing for not wanting to rock the boat (Galatians 2:11-14), having someone to come alongside and lift you up is critical. Barnabases won’t be able to help everyone. Some are so deep in themselves and their own inclinations and perceptions that few came snap them out of it. But still, encouragers continue on as long as possible–without letting their burdens cause them to sin (Galatians 6:1-2).
Do you have these three people? Do I?