Mentoring the Addicted Soul
By Donna Collins Tinsley
We live in a world of wounded people. Divorce, addictions, mental illness, financial matters and family issues are hurting people in our society today. Do you want to help or mentor the hurting among us? We, as parts of the body of Christ, can help bring healing and restoration to people by pointing them to Jesus and His word. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Me.” Who needs His closeness more than someone whose heart has been broken or bruised by living in the world that we live in?
He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right. Isaiah 42:3 The Message
Perhaps you feel inadequate to mentor because you are a wounded soul yourself. I believe your wound can lead you to God and equip you to lead others to the Lord. It can dazzle the world to see what the Lord can do with a broken heart restored and healed by the blood of Jesus. I am a wounded woman also. Satan would like us to be quiet about our testimony but we can stand on the scripture, "They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…" (Revelation 12:11) NIV
Part of the healing Jesus brings increases as we reach out to others as He did. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. When we are touched by the pain of others we want to point them to a source of comfort.
The Mentoring Call
If you want to answer the call to mentor, start where you are. We live such hurried lives we sometimes overlook the obvious. You cannot mentor someone without truly knowing them and what their needs, hopes and dreams are.
1. Be Willing to Be Broken
The Lord uses broken bread and poured out wine as vessels for healing. If we are haughty and act as if we have "arrived," there will be no light of love shining through. No one will want to hear what you say if they don’t see kindness and your own brokenness.
2. Be Willing to Be a Servant
Look for ways you can serve your brothers or sisters. Do you know someone overwhelmed with constant, unending chores, and the stress of taking care of small children? Something as simple as taking a casserole over so she won’t have the pressure of cooking supper that night may give her an extra hour she can use for herself.
3. Be Willing to Be a Sounding Board
Sometimes your friend just needs someone to talk to. A sounding board listens and lets them get all their frustrations off their chest. They don’t want to be "fixed" at this point.
4. Covenant to Pray For Them
When you have listened, you know better how to pray. This may be your main purpose as a mentor. A covenant to prayer is more than a fleeting thought here and there. You want to intercede, to stand in the gap. When you wake up at night their hurts are taken to the Lord, when you are together, you try to arrange time to pray.
5. Be Willing to Fast For Them
I love food. So, when I give up food for a friend, the Lord knows this is something I care deeply about. Generally, you would not let this person know you are fasting for them. You may have one day or meal a week that you give up for others.
6. Love Unconditionally
We need to be able to let our friend know that we love them no matter what they do. We cannot condone, if someone is choosing to go against the Lord and continually sins without repentance, but we can love the person. They will respect you and know that when they are ready to turn back to the Lord; you will be there with open arms.
7. Teach About Forgiveness
The Bible teaches God forgives us in the same way we forgive others. We cannot be pure before the Lord if we are harboring unforgiveness. Many people harbor things against their spouses or parents, using these things as excuses for their own shortcomings. The past is over. Don’t get caught up in the "blame game."
8. Humble Yourself Before Them
Share your life and be open about your own failures. The only perfect person to walk this earth was Jesus. People identify with someone who has been through pain. Your life speaks before you open your mouth. Let your walk match your talk, and be honest.
9. Always Point Them to Jesus
There are many helps for people today through churches, counseling and online here at CBN.com. But it is only by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that true healing and deliverance comes. I am finding that many young Christians today have too little knowledge of even the simplest truths and stories from the Bible. Encourage them to study the Bible.
10. Teach Them; “Love Covers a Multitude of Sins”
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary speaks of this intense love being the divine or agape love spoken about in 1st Corinthians 13. Sometimes this love covers sin by not broadcasting the faults we see in our brothers or sisters. Some things only come about through the prayer of faith and waiting on the Lord.
As a mentor, you will find, you receive more from the people God has placed in your life than you give. Our greatest hope is for the Lord to use the pain of our lives for His glory. He truly is a healer of the wounded souls among us.