10 Qualities Of Healthy Mentors

Throughout my Christian journey, God sent special people to be my role models and mentors. One of those, a youth pastor named Barry, invited me to his home for a weekly Bible study when I was just 15. He taught me how to have a private prayer time with God—and now, many decades later, he’s still a close mentor and an example of how to be a man of God.

Yet I meet many Christians today who have never had a mentor—or they had a bad experience with someone who tried to disciple them the wrong way. If you want to begin a relationship like this, you can find God’s pattern for discipleship in the Bible. Here are 10 qualities to look for in a healthy mentor:

1. Healthy mentors have mentors

The greatest leaders I know talk often about the people who helped them grow as Christians. No mature leader is “self-made.” Even the apostle Paul had Ananias and Barnabas to disciple him when he first came to faith. If a mentor claims he or she “learned everything directly from God,” you can be sure they have a spirit of pride. Never trust a loner.
….Pick up a copy of our August issue of JOY for the full article.

The Dangers Of Technology In Your Marriage

I cannot imagine my life without a cell phone, computer, and television. To have a whole encyclopaedia at your fingertips with the push of a button, or to be in contact with your friends and family, no matter where you are in the world – is a wonderful positive in our lives. However, as with all good things, we must guard against the disadvantages of that very thing.
Technology contributes to our lives, but can also rob from us
The Word warns us that the enemy walks around like a roaring lion and that he comes as the angel of light. He uses everything that is good, that can contribute positively to our lives, and distorts and destroys it; therefore, we must be watchful as children of the Lord! To the extent that technology can contribute to our lives, it can also steal! It steals time, communication, emotion, and can lead us astray onto all kinds of strange roads. To my great sorrow I see how technology destroys hundreds of marriages in the name of relaxation, socialising, and networking. The sad thing is that the situation is not improving!
Really not enough time?
A few years ago, you could close your office door and go home. At home the rice, meat, and potatoes were cooked, and the children’s homework done. Today the picture looks very different. We work longer hours, network with customers, and when we get home, we run into the screens of technology. We complain that there is not enough time for important things and for that meaningful communication in our marriage, but if we had to count all the hours that we spend reading others’ entries, looking at videos, photos, and comments on social media, we could have already gone on leave because of all the work that we could have completed in that time. If some marriages could only benefit from the same amount of time spent on watching sport on the television and in front of computer screens; thousands of families would have ended up very differently!

…For the full article, pick up a copy of our Aug issue of JOY.

Overcoming Criticism

South Africa recently witnessed the largest prayer meeting in its history when more than a million believers gathered in Bloemfontein for the massive, “It’s Time” call to prayer. Thousands more gathered in duplicate prayer meetings in towns and cities around South Africa. It was a hugely impressive movement acknowledging our need for divine intervention in our nation. 

Criticism over the event
Sadly, there were those who took to social media to criticise the event. Perhaps it didn’t fit their particular theological bent. Or perhaps they were never consulted. Or perhaps it didn’t address their particular political agenda. Instead of being overwhelmingly grateful that there was this massive expression of our need of God, they settled for nit-picking.
Criticism over JOY
We even get people who regularly criticise JOY! Magazine and discourage people from reading it, even though it is reaching tens of thousands of people each month with positive, inspirational, and challenging articles that are desperately needed in our country. 
A critical spirit in the Bible
There was a man in the early church who seemed to have this same critical spirit. His name was Diotrephes. He was a person who was probably a church official, who abused his position, and who ruined his usefulness for the Kingdom of God because he got things out of perspective. You can read about him in John’s third epistle where we read about, “Diotrephes who likes to put himself first”.

…For the full article, pick up a copy of our August issue of JOY!