We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We may wonder how we can love others but still hurt them. This paradox causes shame, sometimes erecting a barrier between us and the ones we love. We may be afraid to say that we love them, thinking, If I really loved them, I wouldn't let them down the way I have.
Peter had once sworn his love for Jesus. But then, after Jesus was arrested, Peter protected himself by denying that he even knew him. Jesus wasn't surprised. But Peter had a hard time forgiving himself. After Jesus rose from the dead, he had this conversation with Peter. "Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' ‘Yes, Lord,' Peter replied, ‘you know I love you.' . . . A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you' " (John 21:15-17).
Jesus allowed Peter to affirm his love the best he could and accepted him as he was. In this way, Jesus reduced the shame and restored the relationship. Shame and isolation can lead us back to our addictions. For the sake of our recovery, we must not let our shame cause us to avoid the people we love. It's all right if we love others imperfectly—no one is perfect. But we must keep our love relationships together until they've had time to heal.
Making amends for our imperfections will help us understand the true nature of love.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.