Poor Decisions – “I Told You So” and Grace
Be honest. Have you ever wanted to tell someone, “I told you so?” This collection of ovens is my kitchen. My wonderful husband cannot pass up a good deal even if it means he is going to have to fix “it” to make it work.
The 23 year-old oven/microwave combo finally died. We decided to replace it with a double oven. I’m all for saving money and buying used. However, I did not agree with his decision to buy one that is 18 years old with only one working oven. He felt confident that he could fix the additional oven and if not, we wouldn’t be out much money ($40). In less than 24 hours, it was clear. It was not an easy fix. He called someone who refurbishes ovens to make a deal. My desire to say, “I told you so” was overwhelming.
It is really up to him to decide if this was truly a poor decision. Time, money, driving an hour this way and then that, would bring me to that conclusion. It would have been great had it all worked out, and to him it was worth the risk.
When I was in my early 20’s, I was visiting my parents. The Minnesota winter weather had taken a turn for the worse. I wanted to head back to my apartment. My parents highly discouraged me because the roads were getting bad. I was certain I would make it in Dad’s 4 wheel drive truck. Can you see where this is heading? My dad handed me the keys and said, “Ok, give it a try.” I should have known by the look in his eyes something was up.
A few miles from home, the roads became so covered by the falling snow and wind that I could see about 5 feet in front of the truck. I knew I needed to turn around. I looked down and the gas tank said empty. I pulled into the only gas station on the road with no money. I told him who my dad was and that I would come back in the morning with the money if I could put in a couple of gallons to get back home. I’m not as old as I suddenly sound. The kind owner set up a tab and sent me on my way.
That was a poor decision on my part. I can admit it now. By the way, there was plenty of gas in the truck. My dad knew the gauge was broken and it would cause me to turn around. He even told my mom, “She’ll be back.”
This all brings to mind the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The father greets his son with grace. My reaction would have been, “I told you so” followed by a long lecture. Not this father. He had compassion for his son’s poor decision. My dad too. My dad greeted me with a knowing smile and said, ‘I thought you’d be back.”
That is the same grace our heavenly Dad shows us everyday. It doesn’t matter if our poor decisions are small or big. His reaction is the same. He greets us with a hug and says, “Welcome home.”
Thankfully, I was able to stifle my need to tell my husband, “I told you so.” I have a lot to learn from both my dads. What’s your tendency: I told you so or grace? Leave a comment and let me know. And if you are needing grace, He’ll come running to greet you too.