by Kay Carey
Do you like butterflies? Recently, I had an opportunity to enjoy watching and observing them in a garden during my solitude retreat. Yes! I like them a lot. Actually, my heart flutters with joy and wonder whenever I see a butterfly; not only because of their beauty and graceful movement but also because of their incredible transformation process called metamorphosis. I still remember how amazed I was as a child when I first learned about this scientific phenomenon. The Webster dictionary defines this process as a “complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, character, form, etc.” To grow into an adult butterfly they go through some distinctive states over an extended period of time.
Like butterflies, we Christians go through a lifelong process of spiritual transformation. When we first accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, we are like a spiritual newborn baby regardless of our physical age. The Bible mentions in 1 Peter 2:2 that like newborn babies we should long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it we may be nurtured and grow. This implies that the Word of God is in fact our spiritual food we need in order to grow and mature. Consequently, we will remain spiritually malnourished and stay forever as spiritual infants/children if we don’t take time to intake and digest our spiritual food.
My earlier Christian life is a classic example of staying as a spiritual child for several years. Although I was very much involved in various church activities and events, I neglected to take time to study and meditate on the Word of God. I was more interested in doing stuff for God and others especially those who were in spiritual authority. Apparently, I looked and acted like a mature and committed Christian but in actuality I was an immature child who looked for human approval and praise for my work and accomplishments.
Deep inside my heart, I knew something was not right because I wasn’t experiencing the joy and fulfillment in my Christian life. A little by little, God helped me to realize that I had wrong motives in serving Him and His people but I just didn’t know how to get out of my spiritual rat race. This unhealthy spiritual lifestyle continued for a while until one day someone invited me to join a discipleship class outside of my church. Through that personal discipleship experience, I began to understand the living Word which spoke to my heart and started to apply the truths I learned in my daily living situations.
After a couple years of learning and experiencing this joyful ride of spiritual growth, God began to open doors to emulate and reproduce what I learned by mentoring other women in all walks of life in different cultures and languages until the present time. It’s been almost three decades of walking that road of transformation as I continue to lean on God’s grace and wisdom from different relationships in every season of my life.
I am forever grateful for all those people and opportunities to walk alongside those who have helped me to anchor my faith in Christ through many mentoring relationships. I am deeply convinced that it’s so much easier to grow and mature in Christ together in a mentoring relationship than all alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
Out of many mentoring relationship examples in the Bible, Paul and Timothy’s is my favorite one. Paul wrote to his mentee, Timothy that we must share and teach lessons and truths to other trustworthy people who will, in turn, pass them on to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Also, he reminded us in Philippians 2:4 that we should become more interested in others rather than our own interests as we become more mature in Christ. Throughout our faith journey, we need a balanced relational network with other Christians. I will borrow from the last section of Pastor Rocky’s recent article…“We need a Paul in our lives and we must also have a Timothy. Do you have a Timothy in your life? Do you have a Paul looking after you?”
Some of you already may have heard of the ministry called “Transforming by Twos (TxT)” at Evergreen SGV. It is a mentoring ministry to foster spiritual growth through purposeful relationships. This ministry thrives to encourage and equip people to grow together toward maturity in Christ in one-on-one mentoring relationships.
If you desire to know more about how to start this mentoring journey, please contact, Kay Carey, at firstname.lastname@example.org