Since the age of 2, I’ve been extremely independent. I didn’t need my mom’s help to open my fruit snacks, I could do it on my own! As a teenager, I continued on thinking I was superwoman, able to do everything and anything without anyone’s help; I didn’t need anyone’s approval, I was going to do what I set out to do.  So it would be easy to see how the word “mentoring” has always made me shudder. The thought of spilling my deepest, darkest secrets to someone who is flagrantly better and more mature than such a worm as I frightened me.  Besides, why would I ever willingly sign up for a mentorship? Like I would want to be psychoanalyzed and given a prescription for the perfect Bible verse to make me feel just the perfect amount of conviction. Perhaps it is just a hunch, but I don’t think I’m alone with this train of thought… We’re living in a postmodern world where people no longer tolerate an objective one-size fits all approach to anything. We’re past the age of modernism, associated with identity, unity, authority, and certainty.  Instead, we’re facing an age of difference, separation, textuality, and skepticism. People want to be seen for more than what just meets the eye.  No one wants to be categorized or “put into a box,” so to speak.  This is prime time for mentorship. There are so many different types and purposes for mentoring out there– one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, team mentoring, counseling, e-mentoring, etc.  Nowadays, you can find a mentor for virtually anything– finances, relationships, spiritual growth, personality development, or for working through problems or addictions, to name a few. It is exciting to look ahead to the future, but we must never throw out the wisdom of the past.  There is great value in getting a mentor who has lived life and has many experiences.  So what is mentoring? Well, I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not about someone being better than you and telling you what to do. It’s not someone giving you advice on how to be just like them. Mentoring is all about having someone who you trust there for you, someone who you have given the room to be honest with you and tell you what they notice. It’s all about an “iron sharpening iron” experience (Prov 27.17).  It’s about someone helping you become all that God has distinctly created you to be.  We cannot see everything on our own. We don’t get the whole picture of ourselves. We need someone to give us feedback, encouragement, and a challenge. Someone who will cheer us on, pushing us to persevere through the tough times and encouragement in times of victory. I always thought I was beyond counseling or mentoring.  I figured, “Hey, God gave me a brain and reason to figure stuff out on my own, I don’t need anyone else.”  It’s not true. I need people in my life who I know will have my back. I’m not strong enough to carry everything on my own. I need someone to do life with me.  The pressures of life can hit you hard. To survive the blows, you need someone to help you process and figure things out. The Bible talks about this in Eccl 4: 7-12: “Another example of something meaningless…is the case of a man who is all alone, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” Two people are better than one, they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”