What Should You Look for in a Wise Mentor?

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What does a wise mentor look like? Here are 12 important characteristics you'll find in wise people. Things to look for when you need advice.

Who is the wisest person you know?

It’s funny isn’t it? I’m guessing you had to stop and think for a minute.

If I’d asked you who had hurt you or to name the most foolish person, several faces may have popped to mind . . . but the wisest, that’s harder.

I’ve been blessed with several wise mentors who are always ready to point me back to the truth of God’s Word and live accordingly.

So, one more question…

What does a wise mentor look like? Here are 12 important characteristics you'll find in wise people. Things to look for when you need advice.

What Should You and I Look for in a Wise Mentor? or
12 Important Characteristics Found in Wise People

1. They are seekers of Truth.

[Tweet “”Wise people know what they don’t know. ” #Wisdom #TheFaithProject”]

Wise people spend time in personal prayer and Bible Study.

2. They know right and wrong and live appropriately.

Fools live to see what they can get away with . . . believing the only wrong is getting caught.

Wise people set safe boundaries for themselves and want to honor God with their lives.

3. They value learning and the wisdom of others.

The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more. Proverbs 18:15

Wise people never stop listening to and learning from other wise people.

4. The take responsibility for their actions.

“It’s time to care; it’s time to take responsibility; it’s time to lead; it’s time for a change; it’s time to be true to our greatest self; it’s time to stop blaming others.” ~Steve Maraboli

Wise people admit their mistakes, confess their sins, and ask for forgiveness.

5. They learn from the past but don’t let it define them. 

“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass

Wise people humbly and gratefully receive God’s forgiveness, desire change, and reject the enemy’s negative labels and taunting about past circumstances.

6. They value their relationships.

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.” ~Stephen Covey

Wise people don’t just say the people around them are important to them, they show them, and schedule their lives to match their words.

7. They make an effort to help others.

The man who gives much will have much, and he who helpothers will be helped himself. Proverbs 11:25

Wise people know the importance of teamwork at home, at church, at work, and in their community. They know that by helping others they make the team stronger and bless the whole.

8. They are understanding and compassionate.

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” ~Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wise people listen to understand, do not make assumptions, care about the feelings of others, and offer compassion rather than quick judgment.

9. They work to improve society. 

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” ~Vince Lombardi

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world is leaves to its children.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Wise people care about and serve their community. They work for the good of society as a whole. They vote for wise leaders, individuals who demonstrate these characteristics, and they care for their neighbors.

10. They are the same both privately and publicly. 

“Integrity is not so much what we do as much as who we are.” ~John Maxwell

Wise people don’t adjust their actions for the people around them. They are consistent in their desire to honor God with their lives.

What does a wise mentor look like? Here are 12 important characteristics you'll find in wise people. Things to look for when you need advice.

11. They prepare for the future but do not worry about it. 

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~Corrie ten Boom

Wise people do what they can to prepare for an unknown future and then leave the rest to God. They refuse to worry about things over which they have no control.

12. They acknowledge their emotions but control how they express them.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22–23

Wise people know and admit they are emotional, but they surrender their emotions to the power of the Holy Spirit. They control their words and actions and ask for forgiveness when they fail.

Wise people trust God’s love and believe His promises. 

 Wow! That is a humbling list. Oh, how I need the Father’s love, the redeeming power of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

What a wonderful reminder to know…

 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

Ask Him to help you find a wise mentor and faithfully study His Word. He will keep His promises and give you His wisdom.

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below.

*Would you do me a favor — if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…


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  1. Wow, what a great list! I love this. #11 is what I need to work on in growing in wisdom. I praise God that He has always given me wise mentors throughout my life. It has helped me in my own mentoring of others.

    1. Thank you, Melody. I think I can struggle with several of the things on the list at any given time. Listing them helps me remember the goal and all the things I need to surrender to God asking for His help. Thanks so much for stopping to say, hi!

  2. Alison [Life of Scoop] says:

    Deb, this list is wonderful! I have prayed many times in my life for someone wise & grace-filled to enter my life as a mentor. I am now blessed with a beautiful woman of God who embodies these things. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I’m spreading this post all around the web today.

  3. What a great list. Thank you for sharing this. I have prayed for God to bring wise mentors into my life on a couple of different occasions- and he has done that!

  4. Oh, I love this, Deb!
    To follow after the wise! What a great list!
    I’ve enjoyed the blessings of so many wise mentors in my life. And, I pray that I will be the kind of woman that will wisely lead others!
    Sharing this one today~

  5. I have had so many wise and godly women to mentor me as I grew in my Christian faith. As I read your list here, Deb, I realized each and everyone of them displayed these qualities. I still count them as blessings!

  6. Kim Jolly says:

    Deb, Thank you for this great list. I’m blessed that my pastor has been mentoring me for several years. He meets most, if not all, of the qualities you listed. He is so like Christ–a type of person, Christian that I want to become.


  7. Anna Smit says:

    Love the insights here: such godly wisdom and encouragement. The wisest person I’ve learnt the most from is a person I’ve never met in real life: Kara Tippetts. And her biggest nugget of wisdom came for me in her seeking the truth in all situations of life and confessing it openly before God and others. What an eye opener for me. I have never seen and felt Christ’s Presencein others so palpably, other than when my Mum lay dying.

    I’m discovering that for me number 11 goes hand in hand with confessing my struggles and sins before God. It is His gentleness and patience, not my own, that comes to the surface, as He unburdens me from my human (often selfish) emotions when I confess them before Him. It’s not self-control (read numbing and bottling up to explode) , but a submission to God-control. I’m a very slow learner: but God hasn’t given up on me! Thankfully!

  8. Wow! What an excellent list. I’ve had some great mentors in my life. But now I’m getting older and know I need to reach out to the younger generations (even though I still feel like I’m part of the young generation, lol).

  9. Deb, This is an absolutely wonderful list! I am so thankful for the wise mentors who have poured into my life and pray that I will be privileged to mentor others in the same way. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Oh, what a list. Yes it is humbling because I know there are a few of those character traits that I do not have down, yet. I immediately thought of my grandmother, who went home to be with Jesus in 2014 but still… she was one of wisest and most wonderful women I had the privilege to know. I miss her and her words but mostly her smile and it was her living and her loving that made her wise, she would say she didn’t know anything but that was not the truth. 🙂 She taught me to pray and I am grateful.

    Thanks for sharing this at the #Grace Moments Link up!

  11. Ritesh Sharma says:

    Wonderful article!!
    Thanks a lot for this informative post on Importance of Mentor in life, and yes mentor plays and very important role in our lives as they do not tell you what you want to hear they will always tell you what you need and i think that what you need so thanks again for letting us know about importance of mentors in our life.

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