As I write this week’s article, I’m sitting in Abney Gymnasium, on the campus of Anderson University, watching a little 3-on-3 basketball tournament. It’s Palmetto Boys State week, which means we’re surrounded by more than 700 rising senior boys who come together for a week of learning about leadership, brotherhood, and service. Yesterday during the main assembly, Colonel Thomas Gordon, the commandant of the Citadel, spoke to the young men about what it means to be a man of character. During his exhortation, he made this statement: “The cost of leadership is your own self-interest.” In other words, if you really want to be impactful, have influence, and make a difference, you’ve got to be willing to put others first, even at the expense of what you want.
As I listened to Col. Gordon speak, I was reminded of the words of Jesus: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Our world is full of people who are really good at looking out for themselves; I’m grateful to be part of a church that is focused on loving and serving others. Let’s continue to “bless the rest,” knowing that as we give our lives away for the good of others, we are doing exactly what Jesus asks us to do, as we seek to follow him!