This week, we were joined by Aisha Addo on See Hear Love. She is a founder and director of Power to Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization that gives young girls access to mentors and role models. We discussed the power of mentorship to help to bolster one’s self-esteem and how it is essential in life to both mentor and be mentored.
We talked about our own experiences of being mentored. Many of us were lucky to have wonderful mentors through school, or in the church, or at work. Others of us found mentoring experiences where we could. Some, like Aisha, were not mentored at all. Whether we had mentors or not, we all agreed that mentoring is important, particularly for young women learning to navigate their way in the world.
The idea of mentoring goes beyond teaching, as it implies a deeper connection. Christ was the ideal mentor since he not only taught his disciples and friends, but he connected with them on their level, walking with them through life. Christians are called to mentor others as Christ mentored us. In Matthew 28:20, the disciples were commissioned by Christ to, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (New Living Translation) We have a Christian duty to share what we know and pass our wisdom down to future generations. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (NLT)
Often, when we think about mentoring, we focus on our own experience of being mentored. Regardless of if or how we were mentored, however, we are called to mentor others. It was – in fact – Aisha’s lack of being mentored that compelled her to provide leadership to younger girls. She wanted others to travel an easier path than she did. And by providing others with mentorship, she forged the leadership skills a mentor might have imparted. The beautiful way of the Kingdom is that whenever we give to others, we receive a gift in kind. If you want to be mentored, mentor someone else. We all have lessons we can teach others.
Take some time this week to think about how you might be a mentor to others. It does not need to be formal. It can be as simple as taking someone for coffee, listening to a child, or sharing a recipe or tip that’s helped you in life. The key is to let someone know they are deeply loved and valued by God, just as you are loved and valued.