Mentoring Model of Mordecai
Mordecai was a wonderful mentor for Esther. He envisioned, empowered, encouraged and equipped her to achieve great things for the Lord and for her nation. Her contribution preserved the nation of Israel that Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah descended as the Saviour of the whole world. Mordecai is a model, inspiration and challenge to follow to mould youngsters to fulfill God’s purposes.
There are many young people who need guidance to choose their career or profession. Parents are sometimes not equipped enough to guide their children. Mordecai helps Esther to think out-of-box regarding her future and career.
- Choosing a person
Mordecai himself was a refugee and a stranger. (Esther 2:6) Of course, he had enough problems and issues of his own. However, he looked beyond himself and adopted Esther as his own daughter when the parents of Esther died. (Esther 2:7) Adopting a person in the family is a real challenge. In Indian culture, men like to marry second wife for getting child and do not like to adopt an orphan. Mordecai was willing to adopt Esther as his own daughter.
In ministry or profession it is essential to choose young people whom we can mentor. Alas, many ministers and pastors choose their own son/daughters or their spouses like politicians, business magnates, cricketers and actors. Many potential leaders are thus eclipsed out of leadership and their contribution is not available for the Kingdom of God. Developing leadership is intentional, deliberate and should be done with discernment from the Lord.
If Mordecai had not chosen to adopt Esther, she could have died like many other young girls of her time, unknown. Today, Esther is known around the world, because of the boldness and faith act of Mordecai. How many lives could have been transformed if Christian families could adopt orphans as their own?
- Explore and expose
Mordecai not only adopted Esther, he was interested in her progress, welfare and prosperity. He did not see Esther as a burden and looking for a right moment to unload the burden. In contrast, Mordecai was keeping his eyes and ears open for opportunities that could match the potentials of Esther. Mordecai knew Esther well that her talents, gifts and skills were known to him. In the historical context of Esther times, there arises a vacancy for the position of Queen and an advertisement for “Miss Persia” contest.
As an orthodox Jew, Mordecai may not have liked the idea of Esther a devout Jewish girl running for Miss. Persia contest. However, he must have decided to share this idea and encourage Esther to participate. It was a great leap of faith. But for the envisioning of Mordecai, Esther could never have stepped into that palace. For an orphan, this step was significant move that changed not only her life but the Nation of Israel.
Mordecai was able to connect the open door of opportunity to the potentials of Esther. Mentors does this kind of strategic connection at the right time. Connecting right people to the right tasks at the right time transforms the person as well as the organization, and at times even the environment. An external opportunity is connected to passive potentials of Esther, that brought dynamic transformation for the Nation of Israel. The Nation was preserved from total annihilation and the incarnation of the Saviour of the World happened through the Jewish nation.
Mentors task is to connect young people to right opportunities so that they could excel in their God given talents, gifts and skills. Great talents are unused or buried or abused for lack of mentors or coaches. Mentors with shepherd’s heart would search for open doors and connect emerging leaders to shine like stars in the Kingdom of God. Mentors are responsible to create platforms for newer leaders. Mentors generally gladly step aside to allow others to excel. Barnabas was willing to step aside and allow Paul to take leadership.
A gentle push by Mordecai opened a marvelous door of opportunity for Esther. In fact, the door into the Palace was open. Esther was chosen or short-listed for the final phase of selection. However, she had to undergo a thorough preparation before she had to appear in the presence of Emperor Ahasuerus. The elaborate preparation was for twelve months. (Esther 2:12-15) Mordecai was keeping track of the progress of Esther. He wanted to make sure that she had the best possible preparation. There are many youngsters who like to be on the top with great power, perks and position but are unwilling to pay the price. Preparation for leadership has many facets that includes spiritual, emotional, mental and other aspects. Mordecai could give her the spiritual, mental and psychological inputs, he allowed the professionals to provide the guidance for beauty tips, palace etiquette that would please the king. A mentor should invest all that is possible, but connect with professionals who could help in the areas where s/he is not competent enough to do.
- Success – Rejoice
Mordecai rejoiced in the success of Esther. There are leaders who are envious of their own emerging leaders. Saul was envious of David, when he saw him triumphant over Goliath. Instead of encouraging David, he envied and wanted to eradicate him. There are many political leaders who do that to protect their family members. Unfortunately, it is true in the Christian ministries, churches, organizations and institutions.
Mordecai did not try to promote himself to higher position or take undue advantage of his proximity to the Queen. He rejoiced seeing Esther excelling as queen of the Empire.
- Envision for purpose
Haman was an ambitious person, with egoistic mindset, loved power, position and ruthless in destroying those who oppose him. Mordecai being a devout Jew did not pay obeisance to Haman as others did. For Mordecai, worship belongs to God and did not want to prostrate or bow down before humans. This hurt the ego of wicked Haman, The response of Haman was a conspiracy to do an ethnic – cleansing of Jews in the whole Empire that had 127 provinces extending from Ethiopia to India. (Esther 1:1) He cunningly got the conspiracy approved as a project of the Empire and a date was set for the annihilation of Jews in all provinces of the Empire.
Mordecai came to know that plot of Haman. As mentor for Esther, he encouraged her to go for an appeal against this mass killing project to the Emperor. Esther was reluctant as she had not identified herself as Jew until this time. Also she had no appointment with the Emperor. Trespass without appointment with the Emperor would result in death sentences. However, Mordecai reminded Esther that God has placed her in this historic context with a definite purpose.
Mentors provide interpretations of life events to understand the plan and purpose of God. Insightful thoughts about ordinary incidents in daily life by mentors can propel new leaders in unchartered trajectory. Mordecai explains Esther that God gave her this position as ‘Queen’ to fulfill God’s plan in her life. This position was not for her comfort and luxury and hence she should take risk and do this deed.
Once motivated, Esther planned her counter-conspiracy. Mordecai did not involve in the planning or execution of Esther’s banquet diplomacy. Mordecai had confidence in Esther and allowed her to devise her own strategy. Mordecai only gave Esther prayer (and fasting) support. Mentors do not dictate strategies or action plans, they give only vision and motivate aspiring leaders to aim for greater things, plan appropriate strategies, and implement them.
Today, there are millions of youngsters at the cross roads of decision. They are frustrated, disillusioned and do not know their purpose of life. Without vision, they perish in the journey of life. Let all of us who have achieved, mature and in position of influence may become mentors to help listless youngsters provide sense of direction in their lives.