John Ed Mathison headshot

If we look at life through human glasses, we see selfishness – what’s in it for me? When we look at life through God’s glasses, we see servanthood – what’s in it for Him? One day, the disciples came to Jesus. They thought they ought to be serving Him in some way. Jesus quickly corrected them by saying, “I didn’t come to be served. I came to serve.” (John 13:1-17)

  A life of selfishness leads to a shallow existence that exhibits a “never satisfied” life. A life of servanthood leads to a productive, meaningful, and joyful life makes a difference.

  One of my heroes in tennis was Arthur Ash. He is one of the first great African American tennis players. The tennis complex in New York City is named after him. He is considered a hero for the kind of stand that he took to break into tennis circles. One day, he was asked about heroes.

  Arthur Ash said, “Being a true hero is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

  Human glasses prompt us to be competitive and surpass others in categories that don’t really matter. God’s glasses show us that we become a hero when we have the urge to serve other people at whatever cost. Jesus said, “If you try to save your life for yourself then you will lose it. If you are willing to lose your life in serving me, you will find life.” (Matthew 16:25)

  Trying to occupy great and seemingly important positions in life leads to a dead-end street. The simple life of serving as God taught us is an open thoroughfare to the greatest trip we could enjoy.

  The Billy Graham Organization moved its world headquarters from Minnesota to Charlotte, North Carolina. There they established the Billy Graham Library. My good friend, Wayne Atcheson, was chosen to oversee its ministry. It’s not a library with books, but it is a museum documenting the ministry of Billy Graham. It is one of the most fascinating places that I have ever visited. If you are in the Charlotte area, block out a few hours to learn about this ministry and thank God for it.

  Ruth Graham is buried on the Library grounds next to Billy Graham. Being married to Billy Graham placed her in a lot of situations where she met famous people. She could have sat in an elevated position, but she always elected to be a simple servant of Jesus Christ.

  One day, she went to Belfast to visit a former missionary she had met in China. This missionary lived a very simple life in a small, unfurnished apartment. Packing boxes were her furniture. She did simple things like collecting plastic bottles to send to missionaries in Africa.

  Five days later, Ruth Graham enjoyed tea with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. Ruth Graham said, “I couldn’t help but feel that I had tea with royalty twice in one week.”

  You can become royalty when you commit your life to feeding, clothing, and visiting people who are in need. Royalty is not where you sit – it’s where you serve!

  What do you see – selfishness or servanthood?