Our Debt of Love
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
When we're self-consumed or consumed by someone else's addiction, we may hurt others by ignoring their needs.
Jesus told this story: "A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he . . . took him to an inn, where he took care of him" (Luke 10:30-34). Jesus was making the point that it can be hurtful to ignore the needs we see around us. One of the laws of Moses said, "If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help" (Exodus 23:5).
We owe love to one another. Those who depend on us for the love they need can be deeply hurt by our neglect. There are people who need us to "walk along beside" them when they're hurting. Whom have we ignored when we were so focused on ourselves, or on the addict in the family? Whose cries and needs have gone untended? Who has been harmed by our neglect?
Love demands that we act to meet the needs around us; that's how God loves us.
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.