The word, Psalms, actually means songs. It reads as sort of a songbook written by David, the father of Solomon. As you may know, David was one of God’s chosen leaders, so it should be no surprise that David spoke often of leadership and mentorship.
“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.’ (The Open Bible) – Psalm 145:4
In this verse, David speaks of how each generation should work as a leader for the next. By saying, one generation shall commend your works to another, this is saying that each generation should use their works and their words to show the younger people how they should act as a result, as each generation learns from the next, they will perform mighty works for good.
This is one of the most important lessons that any mentor should understand. Mentorship doesn’t work just through words. The most powerful mentors are those who act in a way to lead by example. Those who do the best “works” are the ones who will have the most influence on others.
“A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.”
If you gave an arrow to someone who has never shot a bow before, what do you think the result will be? They probably will not know how to use the bow and arrow, and if they do, they probably won’t be able to shoot very well. They could even injure themselves.
If, instead, you hand a bow and arrow to someone very strong and experienced, then they will be able to draw the bow back and shoot the arrow straight and true.
This verse points out that the analogy of the bow and arrow serves very well when describing the power of a mentor. The mentor is the person holding the bow. The mentee is the arrow.
When the mentor actually guides the arrow properly and uses the bow to the fullest advantage, then the arrow (the mentee) will shoot straight. This is how much power the mentor actually has over the person they are guiding.
Additionally, these verses state that someone who is capable of being a mentor should fill their quiver with arrows. In other words, people who can be a mentor should, and they should do so for as many people as possible. That’s because the person who is a good mentor can share their teachings, experiences, and life with as many people as they can to have a greater influence on others.
A Mentor is a Mentee
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” (The Open Bible) – Psalm 71:18
This is a very interesting verse because it shows us that even mentors need their own mentorship. David speaks to the Lord and implores God to continue giving him guidance so that David will be a good mentor to the generations who are to come.
David, the mentor, recognizes that he continues to need mentorship himself. God serves as the mentor to David.
No matter how old, wise and intelligent a mentor may become, they can always learn more from someone else. This is the point of the verse. David doesn’t become arrogant and he doesn’t assume he has all the knowledge needed to teach future generations properly. Instead, even though he has already become a great mentor, he goes to his own mentor and asks for continued guidance.
In the next article, we will look at another example of the mentor and mentee relationship 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.