As I continue to teach my staff about the subject of mentoring, we come to Esther the brave. She was mentored by her uncle Mordecai. Being mentored by him changed her life and ultimately impacted an entire nation. When God has us mentor people He has the big picture of eternity in mind. He is not limited in time and space as we are. He will use us to impact one person who can bring about the transformation of history. If Abraham would not have been interested in being mentored by God, the nation of Israel would not have been formed, the Messiah would not have been born and we would not be able to receive salvation today. I do believe that God is sovereign and He could have and would have used someone else but, just imagine how different the world could have turned out if one man would not have been willing to be mentored?
Abraham mentored his family (wife, children, even grandchildren, along with his servants etc.) Because Abraham mentored his son Issac and then Issac mentored Jacob, the promises of God were passed down from generation to generation and faith was carried on from one generation to the next up until now 2014. It is fascinating to think about. One of the cogs in the machine that brought us the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was Esther. She saved Israel from destruction, allowing the race to continue and flourish, making it possible for the promises of God to be fulfilled, allowing Christ to be born as the Jewish Messiah who would die and resurrect to offer salvation to both Jews and Gentiles.
Let’s take a look at Esther’s story and see what principles of mentoring we can learn.
I. Mentoring changes a person’s life
Esther’s story is very similar to Lot’s. She was born in captivity to Jewish parents. We do not know what happened to her parents but we do know that her cousin, Mordecai, stepped in and mentored her, very similar to what Abraham did with Lot. The Bible does not give us an indication of their ages but it seems that Mordecai is considerably older than Esther. He raises her like a parent but we do not know how old she was when he began caring for her. What we do know is that he saw a need and he stepped in to mentor her. His mentoring impacted her future and the future of the entire nation. Mordecai had no idea when he started mentoring her that she would one day be chosen Queen. He also did not know that an enemy of the Jewish people would try to wipe them off the face of the earth. He just did what he knew was right, reached out to a person in need and mentored that person. This is why we mentor, not for what we gain out of it, but because someone did the same for us. Esther was given a chance to have a future and God revealed that future when He chose her to be the Queen. She never forgot where she came from. She was grateful to her mentor, even once she attained a higher position in society than he had.
I believe the names and their meanings are worth something. Names, during Biblical times, were very important. They represent the character of the one carrying them. Esther was not born with the name Esther. She was born, Hadassah which is the Jewish name for the myrtle plant. The myrtle plant was sacred, known for its fragrance and medicinal healing qualities. I would say that was a fitting name since she brought healing to the nation by her sacrifice and obedience. Like Daniel and his friends who were also taken into captivity, Hadassah’s name was changed and she was given a pagan name, hopefully to change her identity as well. Her character was not changed because of the investment her mentor Mordecai made in her life. Some language scholars believe that the name Esther means “beautiful morning star”. The focus was changed from her inner beauty to her exterior beauty. Isn’t that what the world teaches our children, especially our daughters, that your being, your essence, your person hood, your worth is defined by the way that you look? That is not a modern way of thinking. That is the pagan way of thinking. God values the inner beauty and wants us to focus on our character while the world says “forget your character, just be beautiful”. A good mentor will teach people to value the inner beauty of a person over the outer. Are you seeking to mentor someone in such a way that you will impact his or her life for eternity? Mordecai did this for Esther. Daniel’s parents did this for him. What about you, are you following in their footsteps?
II. A good disciple always listens to his mentor
10 Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known. 11 Every day Mordecai walked back and forth in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and how she fared. (Esther 2)
There are two awesome truths here. One, a good disciple will always respect his or her mentor by following his or her godly advice. Esther probably did not understand why Mordecai instructed her to proceed this way but she did not question him. She did as he asked. Mordecai knew things that Esther did not. Plus, he was looking out for her good. That is the second truth, a mentor looks out for the well being of his disciple. As a mentor, you have to be in constant contact with your disciples. As a disciple, you must seek constant communication with your mentor. You must trust his or her judgment, that he or she is looking out for your best interest. Do you have a mentor who is investing in your life the way that Mordecai did for Esther? Are you obedient to the instructions that your mentor gives to you, even if you do not always understand the big picture? As a mentor, do you look out for the well being of your disciples? Do you instruct your disciples for daily living?
20 Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people, even as Mordecai had commanded her; for Esther did what Mordecai told her as she had done when under his care. (Esther 2)
They worked together as a great team, preparing to accomplish God’s awesome plan. Each one had to do his part.
III. A good mentor and a good disciple always seek to serve others
How do you know if you are doing a good job as a mentor? How can we tell that Mordecai is being a good mentor and doing it right? I believe that it is seen through the fact that Esther seeks to serve others, no matter what is going on in her life. She was chosen as Queen. She would have been protected from the death decree that had been sent out for all of the Jews. She did not use her position in life to serve herself. She used the good things that God had given her to be a blessing for the people around her, specifically her nation. Do you seek to use your position in society to serve the people around you, to improve your nation? Do your disciples seek to use their lives to serve the people around them? This is not a new concept. Jesus, in essence, taught the same thing when someone came to Him and asked, “what is the greatest commandment?”. His response sums up what we have just been talking about.
27 And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND ; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Luke 10:27)
When you love God and serve Him then you WILL love and serve the people around you. If you do not have a desire to love and serve the people around you, or, if you are too busy to love and serve the people around you then we can deduce that you are not truly loving God either.
When faced with saving her life by sacrificing the lives of her people, Esther demonstrated that Mordecai had done well in mentoring her. She chose to put her life on the line to serve her people and protect her nation. What about you, are you using your time, effort, energy, resources etc. to fight for the spiritual future of our nation? The best way that you can do that is by investing in the people around you, one person at a time, mentoring them in a way that their lives will never be the same. This is God’s will and if we want this He will do His part. The only one stopping this process from happening is YOU. May the Lord help us invest in our nation by mentoring the people around us the way that Mordecai mentored Esther, the way that Abraham mentored Lot and Isaac etc. God bless.