Saturday, May 19, 2012

When Mentees Bite the Hand that Feeds Them

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man." ~ Mark Twain


Mentors may need a break from time to time to heal and recharge from situations where mentees have bitten the hand that once fed them.

I hate the fact that this is so common. I can't say that I've ever met a mentor who hasn't gone through this. Most, including myself, have gone through it multiple times.  I wrote about one of those situations in this article.

A pastor-friend recently shared with me about a mentoring relationship they developed with a young person they had invested in for many years. After many years of training and investing, they helped the mentee plant a church. It became prosperous and much of that was from all their mentor had poured into them. Instead of being grateful, the mentee ultimately became upset with the mentor. He said that with all the blessings of his church launch he felt he could have been living it sooner if the mentor would have only released him sooner.  He accused the mentor of holding him back. The relationship has been fractured and the possibility of restoration seems bleak at this point. 

It's important to honor the mentors who helped you get to where you are now.  Appreciate them throughout your life, not just while you are with them. You wouldn't be experiencing your current blessings without their investment.

Meanwhile for those of you who are the mentor, take it from me that while it's God's will that you continue to invest in up and coming leaders, you sometimes need a break to catch your breath before continuing on, and that's okay.

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