Thursday, 04 June 2015 14:24

He Didn’t Say, “I Told You So”

Written by  Sam Whatley
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In the 1980’s Randy Travis wrote and recorded a hauntingly beautiful song called, “I Told You So.” It was very popular, hitting #1 on the country charts. The song describes the anxiety of a man as he ponders what his girlfriend (wife?) might say if he apologizes and offers to come back to her. He wonders if she would forgive him for leaving and attempt to find the closeness they once knew. But he is afraid that she might say, “I told you so, but you had to go.” She might tell him that she found someone new and that he would never break her heart again. The singer does not resolve the question, and you know he will only find out if he faces the one he has wronged.

This reminds me of the Apostle Peter in the New Testament. He abandoned Jesus the night before the Lord’s crucifixion. He tasted the bitterness of shame and must have wondered if he could ever be forgiven.


But what was worse, Jesus had predicted his actions only hours before. At the Last Supper, after Peter declares that he would die for Jesus, the Lord says:    


“Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”      (John 13:38)                       


When Jesus is arrested and Peter denies that he knows him, Luke 23:60-62 records:


Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.


Notice that Jesus looked at him. Jesus knew that Peter remembered His prediction, but the Lord is a person of grace. He did not call down curses on him. He did not even say, “I told you so.”


Did you ever wonder why Christ did not appear to Pontius Pilate, the Sanhedrin, or the Pharisees after his resurrection? Now that would have been a classic “I told you so” moment. That would put them in their place. But Christ did not come to humiliate the lost, but to illuminate the eyes of those who could accept him. He was here to build His church and thereby, His kingdom. Gloating was not His style. Neither should it be ours.


He also said at the Last Supper:

“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am he.”  (John 13:19)


Our words have power in the hearts of other people. We can build up or we can tear down. Days after Jesus’ resurrection He met Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Three times the Lord asked Peter to affirm that he loved Him. Three times Peter said yes. Three times Jesus gave him instructions and more responsibility. Peter was not just restored, he was empowered for leadership.


Chances are someone (a child, a parent, a spouse, or a friend) has ignored your wishes or advice and made a mess of things. You are angry with them for their waste of health, time, or money. If they had only listened to you things would have been better. You want to scold them with, “I told you so.” But you know in your heart that this would only add humiliation to shame.


How much better it would be for us to remember that we are much like Peter. We, too, have determined to do things our way, even when the consequences were shameful. All of us have denied our Lord.


Can we not show some grace to others? We may not feel that we can trust someone who has wronged us, but we can forgive them and resist the temptation to make them feel rejected. We can pray that God will change their hearts. We can encourage them to move beyond the guilt to become the disciple Christ wants them to be. Like Christ, we can give guidance, but never say, “I told you so.” Then we will become the melody the world needs to hear.





Last modified on Monday, 15 June 2015 14:31

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