The disaster does not come from making a mistake, the disaster comes from not learning from our mistakes.
Reference: v. 21 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss." (NIV Bible)
Explore: No one likes to hear the "I told you so" speech. It's that rare occasion when you don't take someone's advice and it all goes horribly wrong. The worst possible scenario is not when the situation goes pear-shaped but when the person who gave you advice in the first place witnesses the whole disasterous event!
We do not like to be on the receiving end of "I told you so." We become upset at the negative outcome of our situation, we are humiliated by someone finding out and we are angry at ourselves for not heeding good advice.
In this passage the centurion and sailors have gone against the advice of Paul and set sail into stormy waters. Why would they listen to a prisoner when they had been given the advice from a pilot and the ship owner? So when the weather turns pear-shaped they spend days fighting the storm and fearing for their lives. When Paul hears from God that all of them will be saved he gathers the people together. But before he tells them the good news he does throw in a bit of an 'I told you so'!
Application: Those four words are always hard to hear but if we are open enough to learn from our mistakes we can become better people in the long run. The disaster does not come from making a mistake, the disaster comes from not learning from our mistakes. Once the men on the boat had acknowledged their folly they were willing to listen to Paul the second time and search for land to run aground.
There are bound to be situations in our own lives where we may not have followed wise advice. However we mustn't beat ourselves about with a flood of self-loathing but be willing to learn from our mistakes and steer our lives toward solid ground.
Prayer: Lord, we often make mistakes. Thank you for your grace that extends love to us no matter what we have done. Amen.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.