Jesus amazed his listeners in explaining deep spiritual truths by using common life situation and things around Him to illustrate a point: sheep, goats, coins, candles, salt, cities, sand, grain, wine, water, bread, family relationships, farming, fishing, storms, birth, death and a multitude of other metaphors. Life Lessons from Chess is an attempt to follow His model.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

12. Know Your Audience

Key Bible Verses: Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6 NIV)

During a lesson at the St. Paul Citadel Chess Club, I explained to the students the importance of making the right moves in the game. My objective was to illustrate the importance of making right decisions in life. I began by sharing that if you count both the “white” and the “black” side’s first move, there are actually 40 possibilities. Add this to the second move and you will discover 71,852 possibilities. The third move includes 9 million possibilities. The fourth move, 315 billion.1 At that point, Donavan raised his hand and said, “Mr. Fleeman, I’m only in kindergarten!” I could not help from giggling inside when I realized the information I was sharing was much more interesting to me than my audience.

Scripture warns against throwing pearls to swine. Now I don’t believe He was comparing people to pigs as much as explaining the importance of discerning what and how much to share with your listeners as you tell them of the love of Christ. The fact is, if they don’t understand what we are saying it will only lead to confusion, not discipleship.

My response: Lord, what words can I use to make understanding of the love of Christ clear today?

Thought to Apply: Sing it o’er and o’er again, Christ receiveth sinful men; Make the message clear and plain, Christ receiveth sinful men.  (Erdmann Neumeister)

1 Shenk, David (2006) The immortal game. New York: Doubleday. (p. 52)

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