As a Christian Chinese born in Australia, Jeremy Lin, the world's biggest sporting phenomenon this week has been amazing to watch. I played for my high school team and follow the Australian basketball league casually but even though there are so many ways I can identify with Jeremy Lin, let's just focus on what I, as a fellow believer of Jesus Christ, have learnt from Jeremy Lin. Here are 5 lessons we should learn from Lin.
1. Lin wanted God to be used by God.. so Lin was used by God
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him - 2 Chronicles 16:9a
So many Christians don't realise the power of a surrendered life. I recently heard Tim Tebow in a speech about prison ministry where he said "You think that I am passionate about NFL. I am 10 times more passionate about prison ministry than NFL." He thanked God for allowing him to be an athlete so that he could be more effective in prison ministry.
Same thing with Jeremy Lin. He once said that if he could get more than just a 10 day contract in the NBA, he would write an autobiography. Why? So that he could use it to share his faith. God heard both these athletes and their commitment to GOD first, then their sports. Lin even has aspirations to be a pastor one day! God saw two people willing to show GOD to be "strong" because as many people have observed, both Tebow and Lin's rise to stardom was nothing short of miraculous. Their talent had always been there but God brought the spotlight.
2. God backs the underdog that follows Him
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are - 1 Corinthians 1:27-28
Kobe Bryant said before his game against Jeremy Lin's New York Knicks
"I know who he is, but I don't really know what's going on too much with him," said Bryant of the Chinese-American sensation. "I don't even know what he's done. Like, I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I'll take a look at it tonight though."
The put down from one of the NBA's greatest would be silenced in the following game where Jeremy Lin outgunned Kobe with a startling 38 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds in his first game nationally syndicated by ESPN. Jeremy let the Lord have the final say because when you have God behind you and you are a lowly servant of God, you don't need to defend any reputation because God looks after His own name. So Christian, once you have done your preparation for the war, remember to leave deliverance to the Lord! Jeremy had been overlooked for much of his short playing career and that was not easy to handle. However, being rejected is part of a cross-centred life, so get used to it. God will look after you.
3. Discipline is part of a successful Christian life
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. - Proverbs 12:24
Sometimes we forget as Christians that there is a lot of hard work in our Christian life. All successful Christians have put in hard work to be successful in their vocation whatever it may be. Lin has been described by commentators as a smart player and a "student of the game". His high school coach said that in high school, Lin studied game videos of Magic Johnson playing for the LA Lakers. Even during the half time of the Lakers game, he was watching the tape of the first half to figure out how to play better against the LA defence which the commentators were startled to hear! Who watches game tapes during half time??? A diligent basketball player wanting to glorify God.
4. When God is your audience, life is simpler
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; - Colossians 3:23
When asked whether he felt pressured having to play for the Christians, the Asians in America and also on behalf of Ivy League graduates. He said that he doesn't play for anyone and that his "audience is God". There is much less pressure when you are doing something for the Lord because if you understand it rightly, when you serve God, you rely on His grace and strength and not on your own strength.
Jeremy Lin's gamewinner against Toronto Raptors today #linsanity!!
5. Unselfish people are loved more
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. - Philippians 2:4
Lin has captured the imagination of the watching world, not just because he is successful, but because he is unselfish. In each game that he played, he had a serious number of assists. He was not looking for his own glory but seeking to help the rest of his team to lift. He has become a phenomenon but unlike many other phenomenons, not too many people are getting jealous over him, but are celebrating with him. Everyone loves unselfish people and that is something that Lin has demonstrated.
What lessons have you learnt from watching Lin as an example and a role model to you as a Christian?
EDIT: Just found this a testimony of Jeremy Lin that explains his recent comment where he said that many things happened that were out of his control which brought about the opportunity to play for the Knicks.