Free from Fear
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Making amends is one of the most difficult steps in recovery. So for encouragement, perhaps we should consider some of the benefits we can gain. Before coming clean, we live with the gnawing fear of being found out. Most addictions require us to live a lie; we are haunted by the hidden fear that everything is about to unravel. Our families also are burdened by hidden fears and shame. Setting out to make amends can change all this.
Here's a story of how one family was affected by having to live a lie. "Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, ‘She is my sister' . . . He thought, ‘They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.' But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah. Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, ‘She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, "She is my sister"?' ‘Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,' Isaac replied" (Genesis 26:6-9).
Imagine the negative effect this lie had on Isaac and Rebekah's relationship. When they weren't pretending, they lived with constant fear. When we make amends and learn to live with the truth there is a great relief from fear. We are freed up from the pressures of always having to pretend to be something we're not. This relief can bring new life to all our intimate relationships.
In making amends we discover the freedom that comes by way of the truth.
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.