Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of a man who, because growing up he never saw those who looked like himself doing what he dreamed of, once he achieved his dreams, is now mentoring other kids to do the same. Jerome Stanislaus is an African-American man who, as a child, always dreamed of being a pilot. However, he never saw pilots that looked like him growing up. According to government statistics, the percentage of pilots who are people of color — African-American or otherwise — is still staggeringly low. Fast forward a few decades and Jerome is now an accomplished pilot. Because of what he saw as a child, he makes it a point to mentor other children, especially those of color, to pursue their dreams as well. He works with a non-profit called Fly For the Culture, which gives free flights and mentorship to children of color in an effort to spark an interest in flight and build a more diverse industry of pilots in the future. Jerome makes a difference in the future by mentoring others in how to live out their goals.
When we surrender to Christ and dedicate our lives to following him, everything changes over time as we draw closer to him. One unintended side effect that sometimes accompanies our own change is that we see other who continue to live in sin in a negative light — judging rather than empathizing. None of us have ever become a strong Christian without strong mentors who have shown us what it means to walk in faith each day. Paul’s letters were all for this purpose — not to judge or condemn the various churches and leaders of the time — but instead to mentor them and build them up in the faith. Proverbs tells us, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Rather than waste your time judging others for not living like Christ, invest your time in mentoring others to do so. Today, if you know someone who is far away from Jesus or who could use a hand of friendship, ask Jesus for guidance and reach out to them.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17 ESV