“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Do you have a spiritual mentor? Are you mentoring a younger believer? Do you realize how important spiritual mentoring is to our spiritual growth? By definition, a spiritual mentor is someone spiritually more mature than the mentee. In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul was writing to the people of Thessalonica about the need to lead others in love and by example. The Bible teaches that when we are born again we are like newborn babies that can only tolerate and desire the simple things of Scripture. The Bible calls it the “milk of the Word.”
If we are left to ourselves, it will be difficult to grow to maturity where we can tolerate the meat of the Word. Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus loved this body of believers so much that they were committed to sharing the Gospel with them and pouring themselves into them so they could grow in their faith. Salvation is the first step of the Christian life but it does not end there, it is the beginning of a lifelong journey with Jesus. Growth requires time in the Word, prayer, corporate worship, and the example of mature believers. Once we begin to grow in our faith and in the Word we should begin to serve. Children’s ministry is often a great place to start as we are learning along with them. In order to grow it is also vital to surround ourselves with stronger, mature believers. As we learn and grow we should desire to mentor someone younger in the faith. Weekly gatherings are vital to our growth but we cannot eat one meal a week.
Can you remember a time where you were so spiritually on fire that you could not wait to serve and share the Gospel? That is a great feeling but we cannot exist on our feelings alone. We need the encouragement and example of stronger believers. Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 1:6, “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord.” The Thessalonians were growing in their faith because Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy had spent time with them teaching them the deep things of God. They were compelled because of their great love for them. No man is an island. We need each other to encourage and help one another. It may sound scary but that is how every mature believer began their walk with God. The Christian life is like riding a spiritual escalator, we are either growing up or growing down, there is no resting platform!