A Clean Slate
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Recovery is hard work. Step Nine is one of the hardest. Notice, however, that this step focuses our attention on making amends to people, not God. Once we realize that our amends to God have already been settled, we are free to focus our attention on making amends to the people in our lives.
The apostle Paul wrote, "Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins" (Romans 3:23-24). "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:8-10).
We don't need to give God anything to make amends for our sins. What we can do is turn our attention toward healing our relationships with the people close to us. God loves us all. Now that we have been freed up from having to worry about our forgiveness from God, we can spend our lives helping others. When we make amends for the harm we've caused, we are helping others. We are acknowledging the value of their lives, their feelings, and their property.
Since our slate is clean with God, we are free to make things right with others.
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.