For a while now I have been reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens. It's a fascinating look at what it takes to be a resilient person. Now I have no idea what the author's theological bend is or if he is even a believer but today I was reading a portion that just struck me.
"Human beings learn by imitating other human beings. Probably the most complex intellectual feat any of us will ever acheive is learning to talk. And we do it simply by listening to others, trying to do what they do.
We survive because we imitate. We pass on cultures and languages and common sense because we imitate. And what we imitate are not only skills - how to ride a bike or climb a rope - but ways of being. How do you talk to your neighbor? How do you carry yourself on patrol? How do you pres on when your body is begging you to quit? You watch someone else do it, and you imitate.
This short portion really got me thinking. Who do I imitate? Who do I look at to make a better version of me? For many of us, I'm sure we can list important people in our lives that have shaped who we are whether that be a parent, a teacher, a friend, etc. But as Christians I can't help but think that the person that should be at the top of this list is Jesus himself. Now, I get that we can't sit down and have a face to face mentoring session with Jesus like we can another person, but we can still imitate Him. We can still communicate with Him through prayer. We can still read His Word and imitate what we see there.
So, while it is great to have mentors in your life, I would say the most important mentor we can have is Jesus himself and that only happens through our commitment to commune with Him. We have to be willing to read His word, to study His life and to pray daily asking for guidance. You can certainly learn plenty of life skills from the mentors in your life and I encourage you to do so, but when it comes to eternity, no self help guru or mentor will teach you the necessary life skills better than Jesus himself.