Lessons from a Mentor's Downfall, Part 2

No matter how wise they may be, mentors must be on guard as to who they allow themselves to mentor.

Ahithophel answered, “Lie with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace.” ~ II Samuel 16:21 

READING: II Samuel 16:15-23 

The God-given gift of wisdom can propel an astute and perceptive adviser into the heady inner circles of power and leadership. It feels incredibly gratifying to bring insight and direction to “movers and shakers” who are eager for clarity; to suggest a course of action and then watch those leaders mobilize people and resources to turn that whispered word of counsel into a reality.

The evil one reserves a few devious temptations that are especially designed to trip up a mentor – often the smartest man in the room. Ahithophel’s odd story provides a valuable warning if we will humble ourselves and take it to heart. 

Ahithophel relished his reputation as a highly respected counselor and yet he was unaware of the degree to which his advice was subtly influenced by the character of the leader to whom he gave advice. When he advised David, a godly man, his advice soared “like that of one who inquires of God.”

Ahithophel didn’t notice how much Absalom’s low character soiled the advice he gave regarding the ten concubines (16:21). David would have been shocked by such advice! Absalom embraced his vile suggestion.

No matter how wise they may be, and how personally upright, mentors must be on guard as to who they allow themselves to mentor. And, whether in the trenches with rising stars or in the heady circles of denominational leadership, mentors must hang on tightly to personal integrity. Speak the truth, even the hard truth, and don’t drift away from core principles. 

Ahithophel lost the blessing of God because of the man he chose to support. Thank God for alerting us to this subtle danger. 

Father, Help me to be truly wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. Amen. 

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