Strong Mentors Help Build Character

Listen to advice and accept correction, and in the end you will be wise. – Proverbs 19:20

Strong Mentors Help Build Character

Would you like a surefire way to build character? If so, then you should find suitable mentors—men and women whose character you admire—and imitate them.

A savvy mentor can help you make character-building choices. And just as importantly, a thoughtful mentor can help you recognize and avoid the hidden big-time mistakes that can derail your day (or your life).

Wise mentors aren’t really very hard to find if you look in the right places (but they’re almost impossible to find if you look in the wrong places!). So today, as an exercise in character-building, select from your friends and family members a mentor whose judgment you trust. Then listen carefully to your mentor’s advice and be willing to accept that advice even if accepting it requires effort or pain, or both. Consider your mentor to be God’s gift to you. Thank God for that gift, and use it.

Rely on the advice of trusted friends and mentors. Proverbs 1:5 makes it clear: “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” (NKJV). Do you want to be wise? Seek counsel from wise people, starting today.

– Steve Arterburn

The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are. –  C. S. Lewis  

It takes a wise person to give good advice, but a wiser person to take it. Marie T. Freeman 

The effective mentor strives to help a man or woman discover what they can be in Christ and then holds them accountable to become that person. – Howard Hendricks

Reading God’s Mind

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” – 1 Corinthians 3:19-20

Reading Gods Mind

Have you ever said to yourself, “if only I knew God’s thoughts?”  Some people seem presumptuous to think that they do know God’s thoughts. They’re full of advice and act as if they understand exactly what God thinks and what He would do in every situation.  Too often such people fail to recognize that God’s thoughts and ways are far beyond our ability to understand. His ways are typically not our ways.

On the other hand, God’s Word does give a glimpse into His thoughts and desires. He calls you to forsake your worldly thought patterns and learn His principles for life because conventional, worldly wisdom is often the exact opposite of God’s ways. By saturating your mind with God’s Word you begin to see both God’s message and His method. You’ll see how He worked in history. If you pause and reflect on your own life you’ll see how he has worked in your life. And you’ll see that it wasn’t how you would have designed it in either case.

God’s words to the prophet Isaiah give great hope. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Get to know God, but don’t try to be His mind-reader.

– Steve Arterburn

A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you. – Manley Beasley

Wise Counsel

But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord” – 1 Kings 22:5


If you desire spiritual growth, then you’ll need wise counselors in your life. Even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, recognized the need for wise and godly counsel. Turning to trustworthy counselors in times of confusion or uncertainty can help you preserve your spiritual strength.

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon gave this advice, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors, bring success.” (15:22)  He also said, “. . . with many counselors there is safety.”(Proverbs 11:14)

Where else can you look for wise counsel? Solomon’s father David looked to God’s Word, saying, “Your decrees please me; they give me wise advice.” (Psalm 119:24) And the prophet Isaiah made it clear that the Messiah himself would be our great counselor when he came. He said, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Jesus is the one who grants wisdom, hope, and purpose to life, even and especially in times of confusion or trouble. Good counsel comes from God’s word and from godly people. It can come from professionally trained pastors, counselors, or from people who understand your specific issues and care for you. Whatever the case, don’t isolate. You’ll do yourself a great service if you seek wise counsel.

– Steve Arterburn

Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom. – Walter Benjamin

The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless. – Ezra Taft Benson

The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

I was so pleased to have the delightful Leslie Vernick join Sheri Keffer and I to speak about her book “The Emotionally Destructive Relationship.” Using biblical tools and and empathetic approach Leslie has some great advice for recognizing and addressing the effects of emotional abuse. Click here to watch.


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New Life Live: April 22, 2013


Topics: Sexual AbuseWeight LossAffairsParentingHomosexuality
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Henry CloudDr. Jill Hubbard
Caller Questions:

  1. You need to rethink the advice you gave to the woman who was grabbed by the church bus driver. 
  2. How can I help my family lose weight and not be a food nazi? 
  3. My husband won’t stop his emotional affair with a coworker; what can I do? 
  4. Is it true the dad should be the prime parent to teen boys? 
  5. My friend is asking me for advice because her 15yo daughter thinks she is gay. 

Suggested Resources:
Lose It For Life
Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries with Teens

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