Surprised by Love
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Often our behaviors result not only in harming others, but also in alienating us from the people who love us. We begin to feel embarrassed around others. We wonder how we'll be received when we meet the people we've hurt. Step Nine says that we are to make direct amends wherever possible. This can be an intimidating task.
When the Prodigal Son was preparing to make direct amends to his father, he felt the need to rehearse a little speech. "I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.' So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son' " (Luke 15:18-21).
He didn't even get to finish his speech! His father embraced him, welcomed him home with love and compassion, and threw the biggest party they'd ever had! One of the surprise benefits we may experience from making amends is that it may not be as hard as we expect. In some cases, those we love will have compassion for us and be thrilled to see us at their door. They will embrace us, forgiving all the harm we've done in the past. These positive experiences should then help us face the more painful and difficult ones.
The hardest part of making amends is in making the decision to do so.
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.