When I was in college, a ministry leader rebuked me for being timid when I got behind a microphone. All he said was, “Come on, Lee! Don’t be shy! Preach with boldness.” But his words stung. I took offense because he spoke harshly. Looking back now, I realize he was only trying to help me. He saw my potential. Eventually I did break free from timidity.
Like it or not, sometimes we need to be reproved. A rebuke is never fun. But Proverbs 12:1 says: “He who hates reproof is stupid.” Don’t be thin-skinned when a mentor brings correction. So what if your feelings get hurt? You’ll survive. But you can’t grow without correction. And if you want to be a good mentor, you must learn to give correction, too. That’s never easy, but you aren’t doing your disciples any favors if you baby them. Speak the truth in love, but never hold back if you need to bring a rebuke. Jesus said: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline” (Rev. 3:19). We must mentor like Jesus did!