We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
One of the pitfalls of recovery is that we tend to become extremely self-focused and fail to see the needs of others. If we've been a rescuer, we can go overboard in our recovery and ignore valid needs. If we're medicating our pain through work, or some other drug or distraction, we can numb ourselves to the needs of others while we're numbing our own pain. Perhaps, we need to consider those around us who were needy while we were consumed with our own lives.
"Jesus said, ‘There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead [Hades]' " (Luke 16:19-23).
The point for us to consider is not that we may go to hell for neglecting the needs of others. Our salvation is insured by the blood of Jesus, which covers all of our sins. But we need to consider whether we have neglected the needs of those around us while we were consumed with addictions or with our recovery. Our children, spouse, or others may feel like they were bleeding on our doorstep and we didn't even notice because we were so self-consumed. Whom have we hurt by neglecting their valid needs?
Our recovery is only successful to the extent that we grow more sensitive to those around 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.