One of the mysteries of life is the balance between the sovereign control of God in a person’s life and their own free will in making choices. They are both very real, and very much part of the final product of who we become. God controls much of our environment as in a supernatural greenhouse to produce in us the character of Christ. But many people get messed up in the journey and don’t amount to much in the end in spite of God’s shaping forces in their life. As I have been actively involved in coaching, counseling, and pastoring people over the last 45years to be champions in life I have seen some common denominators in the lives of those who get messed up.
A very important part of any person’s growth to maturity and godliness are the presence of people who have grown a lot in character coaching, mentoring, and teaching them. It is very rare that a person becomes exceptional unless they are encouraged and influenced by a godly model, someone leading the way. It is God’s plan that parents are the foundational first step in any persons journey to being a winner in life. Those who struggle big time to grow consistently often have or had parents who are either so messed up themselves that coaching and training their kids to be champions isn’t going to happen. Or they are raised by just one parent and don’t get the balance and input of the wisdom they need to manage life. Single parent homes are a tough place for a kid to grow up with character and inner strength. Or they have two parents who have their act together, but they are so busy that they neglect the most important assignment that any person ever gets in life, raising a child to love and serve Jesus Christ. Parental neglect is so rampant in our culture today because of a million different things to do.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The key word in this verse is ”train”. That is an athletic term that implies time, effort, a plan, a goal, and lots of accountability. Two of my favorite movies of all time are the first two ”Rocky” movies. Rocky Bolboa wins a very unlikely heavyweight championships of the world, and the reason was because of his coach, Micky. Micky taught him the basics, encouraged him and gave him the heart of a champion.
There are many other possibilities for mentors to arise in the life of a person growing up such as teachers, coaches, pastors, youth pastors, other family members, and just caring friends. But many people get to be adults and have never had a real, powerful and positive influencer in their life or at least very few. One of the laws of life is that there are no self made people, we all are a product of the influence of others.
When we are kids growing up, we are victims; that is, we don’t choose most of what happens or doesn’t happen that shapes us. But there does comes a time in our life when we can choose who we are influenced by. Those choices are so absolutely critical in determining who we become.
There are so many instances where I have seen parents do a great job raising a son or daughter except they didn’t teach them the importance of choosing good friends, and everything that they as Dad and Mom accomplished all unravels because of the influence of wrong friends.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.
If we are wise and humble we know that we always need to have positive models, mentors, coaches in our life. If we know that we need them we will seek for them. As soon as we think we have arrived and don’t need help we are done growing.
To be continued