Mentoring in the Old Testament (1 of 7) – Jethro and Moses – Part 1

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Other posts in this series: Introduction

One of the first instances of mentoring in the Old Testament is the example of Jethro and Moses.  Notice several things we can learn about mentoring for their relationship in Exodus 18.

First, the foundation of mentoring is a close relationship (Exodus 18:1-8).  

In these verses, we see the closeness of these men.  They greeted one another.  They were concerned about each other’s welfare.  They spent time together talking.  They told each other about what was going on.  No doubt, this relationship relationship had been cultivated over the forty year period that Moses was a shepherd in the wilderness (Exodus 3:1).

Often, we focus too much on the mentoring and not enough on the relationship.  Without a close relationship built by trust, love, and mutual commitment, mentoring will not work.

Second, the only way a mentoring relationship will work is for there to be transparency (Exodus 18:8).

Moses had a a willingness to tell what was going on (“Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done…”)  Moses was willing to be vulnerable.  He was willing to admit fears, weaknesses, mistakes, and concerns.  And I have no doubt the Jethro was just as transparent as Moses.

Third, the mentor must genuinely desire the best for his protégé (Exodus 18:9-12).

Jethro was very excited about how God blessed and used Moses.  Moses’ victory was Jethro’s victory.  He was happy when things were going well for Moses.  He got at least as excited if not more excited than Moses over what God had done for him.  He threw a big feast for Moses, Aaron, and all the elders of Israel.

We need to learn to celebrate the successes of those we are mentoring.  We should be their biggest cheerleader.  Instead of bragging on our accomplishments, we should brag on how God uses them.

Next Wednesday, we will at two more mentoring lessons from Jethro and Moses.

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