Do you remember the common saying, “Do as I say, not as I do“? I’m sure as a parent I’ve used this line before probably as I was trying to justify my behavior to my kids, trying to get them to do what was right!
The other day I was on a flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles. The pilot made all of his normal announcements, then he said something that caught my attention. He said, “Please keep your seats belts on at all times, just like we do up here in the cockpit.”. I have never heard a pilot say that, so I wrote that down. Instead of just telling the passengers to keep their seat belts on, he went a step further and brought himself into the story. I actually pictured the pilots up in the cockpit wearing their seat belts. I don’t think I have ever thought of that before!
Instead of using the above quote, “Do as I say, not as I do”, in the world of mentoring, we have to able to say, “Do as I do”. Isn’t this what mentoring is all about?
Probably the best illustration of this is found in the Bible in John 13. Jesus is with his disciples, and at some point during the meal, Jesus got up and began to wash the disciples feet. This was an incredible act of humility and of service. He was making a very powerful statement to these disciples that had been walking with him. Listen to what He said in verses 14 – 17:
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (ESV)
Jesus made a powerful point with his actions, then he challenged the disciples to do the same thing to others.
When it comes to mentoring, we have to be able to say to those we’re talking with, “follow my example”, “do as I do”, “watch me”, “go and do likewise”.
This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but if you want to take your mentoring to a deeper level, let it move into the way you live your life in front of other people.
Before you do this though, ask yourself these questions:
•As there anything that I’m hiding in my life that I don’t want others to find out about?
•Is there anything I’m doing that goes against what I’m trying to teach and what I stand for? Am I willing to change this in my life?
•Am I willing to be transparent with my life?
•Do I need to ask forgiveness from someone that I’ve offended? Do I need to make anything right in my life? Do I need to clean anything up?
Now…. “Do as I do”.