Giving Warning Signals: The Art of Mentoring Youth

Mentors reveal harmful situations

R u t h 2 : 2 2

Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”

Much like Jethro does for Moses, Naomi names the harmful situation for Ruth. It is a generous perspective that allows Naomi to be able to identify it. She also has a genuine concern for Ruth and wants her to avoid the pain of the situation.

When mentoring a person, we need to ask ourselves if we have a generous perspective. Do we see enough of the big picture? If not, we need to spend some more time listening and gaining that insight before we advise our students. We also need to be motivated by genuine concern for our students. If love does not rule our truth telling, we need to spend more time praying about the motivations of our comments.

Do you need to reveal to someone a harmful situation?

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Paul Sheneman
Paul Sheneman is an author, speaker and youth pastor. He serves with the Macedonia Methodist Church in Ohio. He drinks way too much coffee for his own good. His main interest is exploring Christian formation. You can follow most of his ramblings on his blog at or on Twitter @PaulSheneman.