Psalm 40-42 Acts 27:1-26
“But now I tell you to cheer up because none of you will die. Only the ship will be lost. Last night an angel came to me from the God I belong to and worship. The angel said, ‘Paul, do not be afraid. You must stand before Caesar. And God has promised you that he will save the lives of everyone sailing with you.’” (Acts 27:22-24 NCV)
Paul had warned them. “Don’t take this trip! It won’t go well.” (paraphrase of verse 10) You know how anxious people are when they travel. They want to get there. They don’t want a long layover anywhere. They didn’t listen and set sail. Soon the battle against the elements got so rough that the sailors worked day and night without eating. They threw everything they could overboard and a bunch of stuff they shouldn’t have. The “nor’easter” hit so hard that they didn’t see the sun, nor the stars and they gave up all hope. Then Paul spoke again. He started by reminding them that he had warned them against this trip. Then, he let them know that they would escape with their lives because God wanted him to stand trial before Caesar.
Some people revel in the ability to say, “I told you so.” It gives us the ability to appear superior because we knew what would happen if someone followed a certain course and they couldn’t foresee the bad results ahead of them. Because we told them ahead of time, we get gloating privileges. Paul didn’t gloat when he reminded them of his words earlier. He reminded them that he was right when he spoke before so that they’d pay attention this time as he offered words of hope in a hopeless time. When someone’s going through “well-deserved” troubles, especially if those troubles came after we had warned them not to do something, the natural reaction is to remind them of their failure. What if instead of using “gloating privilege” when someone goes through troubles we warned against, we worked towards redeeming the situation instead of lording it over them. What if, when we reminded them that we were right before, we used that as a springboard of credibility to fix the problem? As followers of Christ we should never seek to put people down or make them feel worse. Our job is to seek solutions when people are suffering. Our job is to minister to people, not mock them. Next time a friend or family member ignores your advice and has trouble, minister to them with God’s grace and mercy. You’ll feel better about it. Then, as you’re reflecting on the joy you gained from helping, remember that I told you so.
Lord, You’ve told me that I need to love and care for people who need You. Keep reminding me of Your way and help me to minister to those who are hurting.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved