Are You a WisdomWalker?
“The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.”
– Proverbs 13:20
Even though it’s bad thinking, we do it all the time. We see someone succeed in the athletic world, and we automatically jump to the conclusion that they are successful for two main reasons: natural talent and hard work.
- Natural Talent. We assume they were simply born with all that ability—that they’ve always been gifted, and they transcend us “average” people. We believe that when God was allocating skills and talent, He poured out a little extra on these athletes.
- Hard Work. We believe they are self-made—that they put in hours of practice and training leading up to the moment of success. They obviously sacrificed much and maintained a great deal of discipline.
Even though natural talent and hard work can make a big difference in whether or not an athlete is successful on the court, they aren’t the main factors. In my opinion, the most important ingredient to their success is other people—the men and women who have helped them in their journey to athletic stardom. Unfortunately, the more success we have, the more we tend to forget about those people.
Every great athlete or coach arrived at their level of greatness as a result of someone else. The same is true for you. No matter how good you are, you didn’t make a solo journey. There were people along the way who were significant to your growth and development. Coaches, mentors, friends and parents invested in you. Somebody taught you the skills and fundamentals. Somebody inspired you to not give in or give up. Somebody transferred insight and knowledge to you. Somebody believed in you. Someone poured into you when you needed it the most. You didn’t do it alone.
The same is true with spiritual success. In the lives of spiritually healthy Christians, there have been people who have poured into them along the way. And there is a term for those support people: WisdomWalkers—people who intentionally invest in others, maximize relationships and pass the torch to the next generation.
WisdomWalkers are essentially spiritual mentors. The word “mentor” itself originally comes from Homer’s ancient epic poem, The Odyssey. Before the Trojan War, Ulysses placed his son Telemachus under the care of a wise, older man named Mentor, who trained the young man for battle and life in ways that went far beyond textbooks.
The power of mentoring and WisdomWalking shows many times in the Bible. Moses trained Joshua. Elisha walked in Elijah’s footsteps. Elizabeth counseled Mary. Mordecai poured into Esther. And on and on.
The key to WisdomWalking is identifying someone in whom you see greatness and reaching out to him or her. In all of our lives, there is someone awaiting our approach, and if we will move to action and pursue the role of mentor in their lives, God will use us to call them to a higher level.
When I was 14 years old, a WisdomWalker came into my life. Craig, a volunteer from my youth group, pursued a mentor relationship with me. He knew I was playing football in the fall, so he came to my house during the summer to work out with me. He trained with me by running sprints, lifting weights and executing drills. Afterwards, my mom would bring us snacks and Craig would challenge me spiritually by opening God’s Word and sharing transformational biblical principles.
At the time, I didn’t see or feel the impact Craig was having, but I eventually came to realize that he was investing in me for the future. He planted seeds of greatness in me, and I still remember the things he taught me, both physically and spiritually.
Craig was a WisdomWalker. He believed in me and saw something in me others did not see. He applied the simple but powerful principle of doing life together—life on life.
Oswald Chambers once wrote, “The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God.” Craig lived out this spiritual principle. I became stronger in my walk because Craig was strong in the Lord.
Today, consider how you can become a WisdomWalker. You could be like Craig and let the Lord take someone to the next level spiritually through your relationship. Make the investment. The next generation needs you!
- Name someone God has put in your life who could benefit from spiritual training and mentoring? Make a short list of several people.
- What are specific ways that you can reach out to them and become a WisdomWalker for them?
- Is there someone in your life who can invest in you? (Don’t be afraid to pursue a potential WisdomWalker for yourself!)
- What are the barriers that prevent you from being a WisdomWalker (i.e. time, lack of confidence, not sure what to do, etc.)?
- Proverbs 13:20 says, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” How does this apply to you? How can you surround yourself with godly, wise people?
- Proverbs 18:1
- Proverbs 27:6
- 1 Corinthians 15:33
- 1 John 2:6
“Lord God in Heaven, I desire to make a difference in the lives of others. You bring the transformation, but You use Your children in the process. I want to be used in the process. Count me in to be a WisdomWalker for others. Help me to become the mentor You desire. Reveal to me the person You want me to walk with. Prepare me for the opportunity to invest in others. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”