by Randall Chirng
Being a Christian for more than ten years and counting, I have seen many brethren who were once very active become passive and subsequently falling away or simply remaining sedentary in their spiritual life. When these brethren were active, we can sense and feel the enthusiasm flowing in their veins, figuratively speaking. They were involved in and attended most of the activities planned by the church. This is what a Christian ought to do in the sight of the Lord.
We are like a lamp. The function of a lamp is to light the darkness for people around us to see. As Christians, our light is God’s word. Psalms 119:105 ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path’. Being a lamp, when lighted we will definitely shine and let others see. However, if the lamp is hidden under the basket, who will be able to see the light? When no one is able to see the light, how can they see our good works? When they cannot see our good works, how can people know about our works for our Lord? That is the problem with the basket.
In our Christian race, we do not appreciate ‘basket-placers.’ These people are the ones who wash away the enthusiasm of Christians to become lukewarm – and we know what the Bible says about lukewarm Christians. In my opinion, basket-placers are those who are prone to criticizing people rather than encouraging people; especially in doing the Lord’s work and also organizing activities that are for the benefits of other fellow Christians and non-Christians amongst us. They are the ones who are being judgmental on every single thing; including minute things. Fellow Christians ought to support and motivate each other; not pull each other down by criticisms which do not offer any solution. Please do not get me wrong. Criticisms can be constructive when they are meant to bring others to a higher level of spiritual maturity while negative criticisms tear up a person for the things they have done.
In the work of the Lord, there ought to be constructive criticism; not negative criticism. As we are all one in the Lord’s body, we should support each other in whatever work we do for the Lord. I encourage all of us to thank the organizers of various church activities as they had toiled so hard in order for the activities to be successful. Having organized many different events; both local and national level, it is always heartwarming when people pat you on your back and offer words of encouragement rather than words of negativity.
The objective of this article is to remind us as Christians that we ought not to be basket-placers; especially to enthusiastic Christians. Rather we should be encouraged by their enthusiasm and work they do to bring fellow Christians together; arranging fellowship sessions and trips for each other to have fun. It saddens me whenever these people are put down, even for minor issues. What saddens me more is when this group of people began to lose their faith and fall away due to these setbacks put up by their own brethren.
Let us change this attitude and continue to motivate each other to keep on, keeping on in the Lord’s work. Ask yourself this: Are you a lamp or a basket placer? Wishing all of us a great 2012 to move forward to newer heights in our work for the Lord.
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33