“I told you so.” I contend that at one time or another those words most likely come out of everyone’s mouth. And to the person saying those words it can seem like a sweet moment of victory when they deliver that phrase. I’ve delivered those words to others, on more than one occasion, and to more than one individual. Sometimes those words were directed a my son, especially when he did one of the many things that kids do while growing up. Sometimes those words were directed to my spouse, especially when he wouldn’t listen to, and heed, my opinion. And, sometimes those words were only said in my mind towards others.
I too have been the recipient of those words plenty of times myself. When I am the recipient of that phrase – or one such as “I knew that was going to happen,” or “I saw that one coming,” – I can tell you that it doesn’t feel so good to have someone else gloating over my mishap. When I hear those words being lauded over me it comes across as criticism, and appears to be directed in tone of condemnation, or with maliciously smug self-satisfaction. I react to those words, and when I say react, generally it’s a strong reaction.
Spending our time being righteous over our way of doing things tends to lead us into beating others up over their mishaps, while turning a blind eye to our own. That’s pretty hypocritical for sure. If I hate hearing “I told you so,” then perhaps I shouldn’t say those words myself (or words that sound an awful lot like them).
Thankfully, God, never said “I told you so” to me. When I mess up, My Abba Father picks me up, consoles me, dries my tears, wipes me off, and makes me right. I don’t have to be perfect, and that’s good, because I can never achieve that. I don’t have to do anything to earn his approval, I already have it. I fall incredibly short of the mark, and that’s okay with God.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4, ESV)