I Told You So
In a circle with leaders that have to decide on a course of action, I present my view and then as the discussion proceeds and a couple of experts present their viewpoint, everyone sides with them. The decision is made and we launch the plan. What do I do when a few months later we find ourselves in a mess—the very disaster I warned against?
To be honest, I need a lot of prayer on this. My tendency is to be aggressive when I present my viewpoint, and then if it is rejected, I withdraw into passivity. How did the Apostle Paul react when his advice was rejected, and his ship sailed right into gale force winds?
“After they went many days without food, Paul stood up in their midst and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete; then you could have avoided this disaster and loss. Now I urge you to cheer up because not one of you will be lost, only the ship. For in the night there appeared to me an angel of the God I belong to and who I serve. He said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, it’s necessary for you to stand before Caesar and note, God has also graciously granted the lives of all of those traveling with you.’ So cheer up, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But it is necessary to run aground on some island.’” Acts 27:21-26
Unlike Jonah, who was sound asleep deep in the hull of the ship while his fellow voyagers battled the deadly storm, Paul stands with his shipmates. When they became hungry and hopeless, he shares God’s message of deliverance. And he doesn’t angrily say, ‘I told you so.‘ He does remind them that they should have listened to his advice because maybe the next time the captain won’t shove aside the advice of an old missionary who had spent years traveling around the Mediterranean.
I love the fact that Paul didn’t withdraw in anger and passivity. Instead, he poured courage and assurance into his shipmates and gave them God’s good news.
LORD, when my advice is rejected, give me strength not to give in to the hurt and anger. Help me learn from Paul’s example and be willing to give encouragement even in the middle of the mess we could’ve avoided.
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