August 6-12, 2012
Editorial: Children should base their conviction on Christian principles
Translated by Lydia Ma
Jeremy Lin is once again dominating headlines in Taiwan this summer. From the moment he stepped out of the plane, what he eats and where he sleeps has been the focus of the media in Taiwan. It seems like knowing the whereabouts of Lin has become everyone’s business.
Though mainstream media likes to focus on Lin’s techniques on the basketball court, but Christian media is more interested in his character and manners, as well as how his parents raised him. In this respect, basketball is merely a means for them to see what Jeremy Lin is really about. If Jeremy Lin continues to be physically fit, he will likely play ball for another decade or two and be a media sensation. The attention and glamor will wear off in a few years, but what will stay with him for a lifetime is his character and it will determine how he will play in the long run and how he will face successes and failures.
We are not Jeremy Lin and we will never become a Jeremy Lin. However, if there is something we have in common with him, it is our faith in God, which enables us to look at fear and defeat squarely in the eye. It is also this faith that enables us to take hold of opportunities and use our talents. However, making use of our talents is not as easy as it sounds and parents play a great role in determining and guiding a child’s goal and direction in life. Often times, the values of a parent go a long way in determining what kind of a person a child becomes.
God has given every parent the charge of nurturing his children and every child has a different God-given talent. It is important to respect every child’s individuality and talent if we want to fully enjoy God’s creativity. This by no means implies that we spoil our children, but rather, we encourage and train them and prod them to go the right way. In Proverbs, God asks us to train, disciple, and guide our children because this is our responsibility as a parent.
If there is anything we can take away from Jeremy Lin’s story, it is that religious training is important and living out our faith is also important. To live out our faith, we must be aware of our surroundings and we must be sensitive to injustices happening around us. This is increasingly hard to do in Taiwan because of the decreasing caliber of journalistic reporting in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese media’s unceasing coverage of Jeremy Lin wherever he goes has created an aura of illusion. For a short time, Taiwan seems to be a perfect, happy, little country. More serious matters such as the agricultural land appropriation in Miaoli, the Lin Yi-shi corruption scandal, the illegal detainment of a Taiwanese citizen in China, the deteriorating state of our national soil, the suffering of people whose houses were appropriated by greedy government officials and business tycoons, etc. seem to have vanished as they are put on the backburner or on the back pages. Ironically, these matters deserve even more of our attention and will affect future generations more than how Jeremy Lin scores on any given day. We should be focusing on and responding to these incidents from our Christian convictions instead of getting sidetracked by Linsanity.
A recent popular quip in Taiwan goes like this: “Whether a person is intelligent has already been determined by his genes. Whether a person has good character is nurtured and taught. Tragically, many parents have gotten it the other way around.” It is my hope that we can look past Jeremy Lin’s Harvard diploma, lucrative endorsements, and achievements, and see that his appeal lies in his character and perseverance despite years of hardships and his steadfast faith in God which manifests itself in how he lives out his daily life.