Not everyone is prepared to invest time and energy into their spiritual growth. Many will acknowledge that spiritual growth is important, but few are willing to make sacrifices to see that growth happen in their lives.
As a mentor wanting to build into the lives of people around me, there are three characteristics I will look for in their lives, before deciding to invest time, energy and resources into their lives.
I describe them as FAT people, an acronym standing for Faithful, Available, Teachable.
Loyal, constant and steadfast in their relationship with the Lord: not an on-again, off-again relationship. I look for a consistent love for Jesus and a desire to honor and praise Him with your life. Faithful in their relationship with people in being there when they said they would be and supporting the people around them. Faithful to the Word of God as a handbook for life and their first source of truth. Faithful to the purpose of God for their life and a willingness to become more Christlike. They are described by Paul as people who are “reliable” in 2 Tim 2:2.
Many people who followed Jesus enjoyed His company and His teaching. However, the Pharisees did not like the person He was and were quite happy to kill him in the end. The multitudes that followed Him loved listening to Him but had no desire to become like Him. They were present, but not faithful to His Person.
Making themselves available to God and to God’s people, a willingness to be used and serve other people. There is no point in trying to mentor someone who does not make themselves available for mentoring. Many people like the idea of mentoring, but will not make themselves available for it. This implies making time in your diary, perhaps being inconvenienced, keeping a commitment and even working when no one notices, for no reward. It is a person who is available to God, whenever, wherever as He directs.
It implies that there is a cost to making yourself available, a sacrificing of your agenda for God’s agenda in your life. It recognizes that some opportunities are rare and there is a willingness to make the necessary changes to take advantage of them. Do they pitch up, pitch in and participate?
Are they seeking an ear to listen to them talk, or are they genuinely wanting insight, wisdom, understanding, and coaching for life? Many will seek “counseling”, so that they feel better about their lives, feel inspired and more positive, but are not open to input for improvement, character development and biblical direction. Are they willing to be taught, open to God’s instruction and teaching from His Word? Or, have they already got it all figured out?
A good mentee will recognize that God uses circumstances and the Word to shape us into Christ-like characters. They are willing to give up their way of thinking and doing things, to embrace new convictions that develop good character.
Are you one of God’s FAT people?
‘I (God) looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so that I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
God is still urgently looking for people who are willing to stand in the gap to help save lost souls from a lost and hopeless eternity and to do His work here on earth.
The kind of people God is seeking, chooses and calls are FAT people.