We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When we're making amends, we need to be wise in the way we go about it. We may be so anxious to get things off our chest that we may blurt things out without fully considering the people involved. We need to consider how our actions may injure them. We may feel so pressured by guilt and fear of exposure that we rush ahead and make mistakes we can't erase.
Many of the people in the apostle Paul's world worshiped idols. Part of their pagan worship included sacrificing an animal, and then cooking and eating the meat. The Christians of that day struggled with the rightness of eating this sacrificed meat. Paul explained that there was nothing wrong with eating the meat, but he advised them not to eat it if it would offend another Christian's conscience. Paul said, "Don't be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. . . . It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person. . . . I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others" (1 Corinthians 10:24, 29, 33).
When making amends we need to weigh the feelings and needs of the people who will be exposed to what we say and do. Since we are not always the best judge of what needs to be disclosed and when, we can rely on our support group for help in these decisions. We need to make sure that no one will be hurt by our disclosures.
Recovery will bring with it renewed sensitivity in our relationships.
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.