Full of Mercy
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
In families where addictions are forceful, there's usually someone who falls into the role of being superhuman and self-righteous. In the family system, this person balances out the identified "addict," who feels subhuman. If we are one of the self-righteous ones, it is harder for us to identify ourselves because we don't look sick. We seem to be stable and have it all together. However, it can become very lonely as we separate ourselves from everyone whom we perceive to be below us.
The Pharisees once asked why Jesus associated with sinners. "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. . . . For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners" (Matthew 9:12-13). Here's God's view of the self-righteous: "They say to each other, ‘Don't come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!' These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away" (Isaiah 65:5).
We may not realize how harmful self-righteousness can be. We can be hurting others by our lack of mercy, even though we're doing all the "right" things. Self-righteousness is hard to see in ourselves. We may need to ask our loved ones if this type of attitude has harmed them. Then we need to be willing to really listen to the answer they give.
As we become willing to make amends, mercy begins to grow in our hearts.
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.