“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (The Open Bible) – Proverbs 13:20
Proverbs was written by Solomon, who has always been well known for his vast wisdom. The whole book of Proverbs is various phrases and sayings that come straight from the wisdom of this King. Even non-religious people have recognized the wisdom and intelligence in these scriptures, and you probably have noticed that Proverbs is quoted virtually everywhere.
One such scripture, Proverbs 13:20, shows how mentorship can actually work for harm or good. When a wise person works as a mentor to someone else, they can help this mentee become wise themselves. When a foolish person serves as an example, then the mentee is likely to go down the wrong path as well.
By just looking at pop culture, you will see how this is true. Some of the common “mentors” of the day are sports stars who continually get arrested or pop singers who end up regularly in drug rehabilitation. Those who follow this path could become the same type of individual.
Those who choose to follow real mentors, those who have good values, standards, and wisdom, will find it much easier to make the right choices in life.
Even thousands of years ago, a wise king understood the importance of a good mentor. So, whether you are looking for someone to learn from or you are considering serving as a mentor to someone else, you must remind yourself of this piece of scripture.
“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth.
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (The Open Bible) Proverbs 1:1-7
Again, Proverbs offers words on why mentoring is so important. As pointed out here, it is the job of the wise to teach others, it is also the job of the wise to become even wiser through continued learning. In other words, one should work as a mentor while seeking mentors for themselves.
The scripture even goes on to say that “fools” will shy away from instruction or mentorship and they may even hate it. Essentially, this means that if you choose to turn away from possible mentorship, then you are making a foolish decision. There is no one who can stop learning and there is no one who knows everything. That means anyone, of any age, needs a mentor.
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (The Open Bible) – Proverbs 9:9
Again, this explains that everyone can continue to learn from a mentor. No matter how wise someone may be, they have the opportunity to become even wiser than they already are. No matter how good or righteous someone may be, there is room for them to become even better when they learn from others.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (The Open Bible) — Proverbs 27:17
When blacksmiths sharpen metal, they actually use other metal for the process. Iron, for example, is very strong. It can be used for a wide variety of different tools and it can be forged using other iron pieces. In other words, iron can sharpen iron.
This is a good example of how people can work together. We can sharpen one another. In other words, we can learn from each other if we allow this to happen. Mentorship in people is as powerful as iron sharpening iron.
Proverbs offers numerous different principles on mentoring. It becomes very clear that the wise people of the Bible, like Solomon, believed very strongly that mentors or teachers are needed to lead others in the right direction.
In the next article, we will take a look at real examples of mentorship that appears in the Bible.
Know that I am sending you the best that God has to offer you and I will see you up, up, and over the top.