Back when I was in college, I helped manage an ice cream shop. It was a small place at the mall but I enjoyed it and was able to work with some of my friends. Across the hall from the ice cream shop was a Christian bookstore. David was the manager there and he was older and wiser than I was . . . and he probably still is.
Manager David once gave me advice that I have never forgotten as it remains true in every work environment from that ice cream shop to now. He said, “As a manager, surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses”.
That advice remains some of the best I’ve gotten and was the determining factor in my most recent staff hire.
Although I didn’t identify Manager David as such at the time, he was one of my Pauls. We talked about work, life, and our faith. He was able to lend perspective on how to handle things . . . how to navigate situations both at work and in my personal life. He poured into me and I listened . . . although probably not as attentively as I should have.
What do Pauls look like?
Like Manager David.
Kind. Investing-minded. Wise. More mature in their faith. Have experience. Have some answers . . . and admit when they don’t.
Manager David was older than me but that’s not necessarily a qualifier. In most instances it helps but it’s certainly not necessary. Maturity in faith & life is different than age although we’re a people of stubbornness so the two usually go together.
My guess is that you already have some Pauls or Paul-potentials in your life despite whether you see it or not. God has a way of bringing these people to us.
They’re found in the workplace, at church, in our neighborhood, in our family, or at the local coffee shop.
And here’s the deal – a Paul to you is not necessarily a Paul to someone else. Each of us (as we’ll soon discuss Timothies) are uniquely equipped & charactered individuals. That means we’re going to connect with uniquely equipped & charactered other people.
But there are some common denominators and required characteristics. We get a glimpse in certain places throughout Scripture. We’ll read one today.
If you haven’t already, pray for a couple of Pauls in your life.
Find them & invest in them.
That very well might mean having a direct conversation about how you’re seeking mentorship.
But, you don’t have to call it that if you don’t want to.
Call it, ‘the occasional coffee’.
And if you don’t drink coffee, start there. I recommend a nice mild roast – no cream or sugar.
Thoughts to Journal/Pray:
- Who are some potential Pauls in your life already & what qualifies them? If you don’t have any Pauls currently, pray for them.
- Are there people God might be speaking through to you that you’re missing? Who is that & why are you missing it?