A Servant's Heart
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
At this point in recovery, most of us have experienced some major changes in our attitudes. At one time, we were so consumed by our addictions that we thought only of ourselves, failing to show any consideration for others. In this step, the focus is on the interests and needs of others.
The apostle Paul taught, "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too" (Philippians 2:3-4). Whether we make direct amends to others or choose not to because of the injury it would cause, we are concerned with protecting others from pain and suffering.
There may be situations where we will suffer if we go back to make amends. This is part of the work of recovery, and the potential pain should not deter us. The apostle Peter wrote, "If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. . . . Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly" (1 Peter 2:20-23).
This step can be very difficult as we face the painful consequences of past actions. During this time, we need to turn our lives over to the care of God. He will fairly and wisely decide what will happen to us.
The best cure for selfishness is God's call to serve 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.