Do You Have a Eunice (Or a Paul) in Your Life?

This past weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day. Hopefully you got a chance to celebrate with your mother if she is still with you, but I also know that this isn’t always the easiest time for people, especially if their moms are no longer around, or if there is a distance between you (either physically or emotionally).

On Sunday at church, we brought up the call to celebrate the spiritual mothers in our lives. These are women who help guide and direct us spiritually. In today’s society, we tend to want to guide ourselves, but when we do this we miss the fact that we, as a whole, are narcissistic people. We look to our needs and wants first, and this is the best case scenario. So often it is much worse. We see this in the book of Judges.

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals… Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders… But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.”

Judges 2:10-11,16,19 NIV

How do we make sure we hear God Correctly?

It seems like today we want to just follow the Holy Spirit (or for some, a spirit masquerading as the Holy Spirit) without receiving any guidance from anyone or anything else. The problem is, when left to hear God ourselves, we can hear what we want to hear (or think we have heard from God when we haven’t).

The Bible is the rule and guide of our faith, but even it can be taken out of context and made to say what we want it to say if left unchecked. Fortunately, God has not left us in a vacuum or on an island by ourselves.

This is where the discipline of guidance comes in…

He has placed us in a world where there are others who can assist in this process of biblical spiritual growth and discerning His will.

Christ-centered people help guide us along the journey.

The goal should be to find a church home where we know that the Bible, the Word of God, is being preached. A church that looks at God’s Word in context and then looks to share ways we can apply it in our lives.

We also want spiritual mentors and co-laborers in our lives to help us stay on track, and to do the same for others.

In 2 Timothy 1:5, we see that Timothy was raised to spiritual faith by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. They made sure that he learned what he needed to learn, and guided him to stay on the right track.

As Timothy got older, Paul became a spiritual father to him. Timothy didn’t feel that he was good all by himself, he was a part of the body of Christ, and as Paul mentored him, he mentored others (as is seen through Philippians and other books).

Who is helping you spiritually?

I’m not sure where I heard this from (not my idea), but we should look to have a Paul (or a Eunice), a Barnabas, and a Timothy in our lives. A Paul/Eunice figure is a spiritual father or mother who helps us along our spiritual journey. A Barnabas is someone who we consider a spiritual equal, someone to work alongside, and a Timothy, someone younger (spiritually) who we can mentor (unless we are new to the faith).

It is easier to have a Timothy (someone you mentor), and may not be difficult for us to have a Barnabas (someone who is your equal), but it can be hard for us to think of someone as being more spiritually mature than us (a Paul figure in our lives). But unless you are much older and have spent your life in ministry, there is always someone more spiritually mature to for guidance, especially when we are seeking God’s will in an area of our lives.

And for those looking to be fully rounded, who do you have in your life who is spiritually mature and from another culture that will not only help you to see the truth, but to see it through a cultural lens that is different from your own?

Is there a Paul/Eunice in your life?

My challenge this week was to determine if you have a Paul, and if not, to begin to look for one. We also want to see who we have around us who would fall into the role of a Barnabas and a Timothy (there are often more than one).

And for those of you who are preparing for changes, or going through challenges, who are the people you are looking to for guidance, so that you don’t miss the will of God? You may find a good way on your own, but God’s way is always best!

Lord, lead us to the place and the people who can guide us to draw closer to You, and then help us to imitate them as they imitate You, growing in knowledge of You, that Your will might be done in our lives, and Your plan come to fruition through us. In Jesus’ name…

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