Jesus playing Checkers with Peter

When my son, Samuel, and his family come to visit, we always play games. Samuel loves board games. He always brings us a new one or we dredge one of the relics from his childhood from our attic to play together before their time with us is over. The last time he was home we played Balderdash. I was reminded of this family time when I read my Love Devotional yesterday morning. This Love Devotional was sent to me by Craig over at just for the asking. This is what Craig said that got me thinking about gaming:

If Jesus were playing checkers with Peter, I think He would try to win. But he wouldn’t have to in order to prove anything.

Craig was talking about love not being self-seeking. He said, “Today I will try to win, but I will not let it be the most important thing. The most important thing is that I serve a Savior who, in serving others, already won the ultimate victory for me.”

I remember teaching a college class once using the book Ministering Cross-Culturally by Mayers and Lingenfelter. One of the chapters in the book talked about cultures who thought confrontation and winning were most important as opposed to those who thought saving face and negotiation were most important attributes. The former thought the latter were lazy and the latter thought the former were rude. There was a story in the book about a wonderfully talented Olympian runner from Africa that an American coach had a difficult time getting to run to his capacity because he would keep looking over his shoulder so as not to have too much distance between himself and his closest contender to allow him to save face. This was incomprehensible to his Western coach.

When we got the Balderdash game out my son said, “Dad always wins, but that’s ok. I love the challenge.” I loved my son’s spirit. He got it from his Dad. Even though Dad wins most of the time, he doesn’t have to. He held Mickey on his lap to give him a handicap. He still won in a last-minute dead heat. But he didn’t have to.

Have a blessed day,



8 comments on “Jesus playing Checkers with Peter

  1. I love this! Isn’t that just how love is… it delights in the blessing but it loves to share it!

    so glad for the view into your family time… we also pull out our favourite games when the kids are home, Round Rummy, and Mexican Train Dominos, Crib and Backgammon being a few of them…the list is L.O.N.G……….

    the laughter through ‘fighting the good fight’ is the best part!

    I had also mentioned to Craig that I would love one of his Love Devotionals but he must have missed it. I am enjouing all you share from it. Thanks Dawn

  2. My son invented a game that I would love to send to you. The web site is It is a cooperative game where the family works together against the board itself. I think your bunch will love it. It is a bit complicated, but once all the parts are known and each player can strategize easily, many have found it very rewarding. You can see testimonials on his site.

    I am to meet Samuel for a bike hike on March 10. I will tell him to bring one with him so I can send it along to you. I will also include my copy of Craig’s devotional if you don’t get one. I will have read it by then and it will be ready to be sent on to bless others.

    Have a great day in the Lord,

  3. Great post, Dawn . . . I think one of the key things about raising kids who love the challenge is to be sure there is no “loser” talk . . . just complimenting and encouragement for good moves, growth in strategy, etc. There is so much opportunity for character and community building in sports and games of all kinds, but the need to win can sabotage it in short order.

      • You’ve left me wondering …. How many health care reforms come from a need to win, over patient care? How many political decisions are about needing to win, over people? How much effect does “need to win” have on the way our children are educated in our country and in the world?

        How many religious discussions…and even practices…..stem from a “need to win?”.
        Oh, my….. Now my mind is starting to run rampant…all the way back to King James…. And beyond….

        I’m going off now.. To think about how many important decisions I’ve made and how much I have clung to because of a need to win…and how much have I resisted change and growth because giving it up would feel like losing…. Gotta ponder…….

  4. This post made me smile. We are a fame loving family too. And Jesus playing checkers? Realizing that we always give our best but it isn’t ultimately about winning? Love.

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