Other places I blog




web stats

Follow Me on Twitter
« Lessons Only Seminary Could Teach Me | Main | Redemption »

Look beneath the floorboards

In Christian circles, the principle that we need mentors is one that is promoted frequently. It is promoted so much that at times, I have felt like I must be living a very marginal Christian life because I don't have that one person to whom I look for guidance. I sometimes think that is a good thing, because I have a tendency to make people more important than they should be.

People will let you down. Even the ones you think never will. 

This past year, I learned something very disturbing about someone who has been a huge influence in my life. My reaction and my feelings are nothing compared to what that person's immediate family has dealt with for many years, so I remind myself that this isn't about me. But it gnawed at me most of the summer. I began to question everything I knew about this person. At one time, I wanted to be like that person. I loved that person. I looked up to that person. I don't know how to feel about it all, even now, almost a year later.

People are skilled at hiding things. If they were't, then there wouldn't be stories of pastors and priests who were revered until they were discovered to have been sexually abusing some poor child or woman; the vulnerable people. No one wants to believe that the person could do such a thing; despite the fact that Scripture tells us that no one is righteous. After we are redeemed, our natures remain the same. We have the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, but that does not mean we will never hurt another person or let another person down. It is guaranteed that we will. 

Sufjan Stevens sings a song called "John Wayne Gacy Jr" that disturbed me when I first heard it more than ten years ago. I have only listened to it a handful of times. But I remember well the last four lines:

And in my best behavior 
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floor boards 
For the secrets I have hid

Having a mentor is a true gift if you find one. But in our rush to direct everyone to a mentor, we should proceed with cautuion. For the one doing the mentoring, it can become a heady experience. Being a mentor is a huge responsibility. There is a fine line between control and influence.

I am unnerved when I see people on social media gushing over their admiration for another person, especiallly if they don't know the person face-to-face; "fan girling," I think they call it. Don't do it. Be careful about people you allow into your heart and mind. It can be so easy to give one man or one woman our loyalty at the expense of our loyalty to Christ. If people we know for years can hide their true selves from us, how much more can someone we see only on a screen?

Don't seek to be a protegé; seek to be a disciple.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>