Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Many of us know what it is like to be a burden on others. It is a common side effect of being controlled by an addictive/compulsive behavior. Sometimes our behaviors have caused us to lose our jobs or have made us unable to hold one down. As a result, we've found ourselves in financial need. This humiliation can affect our families in many ways. We may have caused loved ones great stress and shame because we haven't provided for their needs.
The apostle Paul taught us to follow this standard: "For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night" (2 Thessalonians 3:7-8). "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands. . . . People . . . will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
It is important for us to think about how our irresponsibility has affected others. Much pain may have been caused by our failure to provide for our families' needs. We need to reflect on how this failure has caused us to lose their respect and trust. The shame of not facing this aspect of our lives can be terribly discouraging. Once we face this and become willing to make amends, our self-respect will get quite a boost. This step will help us get rid of some of our daily stress, freeing us up to proceed with recovery.
Making amends is a sure way to rediscover our ability to be responsible.
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.