8. Those whose primary agenda is individualistic and not kingdom-oriented. There are some people whose only agenda in life is to advance their own agenda. They don't want to work with a team or flow in the context of a local church. They want me to pour my life into them, but they are rarely ever willing to pour back into the church and serve in the kingdom of God. I have learned that those who only want to use the church or God to advance their own agendas (even if it is ministry-related) have greatly limited their own lives. Thus, I back away from these people until they change. This is because we are all called to seek first God's kingdom, in which we need to die to our individualistic sense of destiny and sacrifice and invest our time for the good of the body of Christ. This, in turn, will do more to release our greatest destiny—even more than if we only concentrate on our own agendas!
9. Those who refuse to keep covenant. I have been with very talented individuals with great calling on their lives whom I had to back away from because they did not know how to remain faithful to their obligations or because they broke confidence by continually talking behind other people's backs. God says that a person who doesn't keep their word (whatever the cost) and who slanders their neighbor cannot dwell in His tents (Ps. 15:3-4), so who am I to think that this kind of person can dwell in my inner circle for personal development?
10. Those who lack transparency, humility and integrity. The Bible teaches us to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). It also teaches us to confess our faults to one another and pray for one another, that we may be healed (James 5:16). Those who do not admit their faults and confess their sins cannot have the kind of relationship with a mentor suitable for personal growth. It is important for me to have a transparent relationship with those I am mentoring, since a person who conceals their sins from me is not giving me a chance to fully speak into their life and help them in their areas of weakness. Those who want to progress in their spiritual formation have to learn to practice the spiritual discipline of the confession of sin (Prov. 28:13).
Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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