We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
How many people are still living in the shadow of our unkept promises? Is it too late to go back now and try to make it up to them?
King David had made some promises to his friend Jonathan. "One day David asked, ‘Is anyone in Saul's family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?' " (2 Samuel 9:1).
Jonathan's only living son, Mephibosheth, had lived a long time with the pain of David's unkept promise. It had shaped his lifestyle, his emotional condition, the way he thought about himself. His grandfather, King Saul, had mistreated David before David became king. Perhaps Mephibosheth was afraid that David would mistreat him on account of his grandfather. Perhaps he had begun to take the guilt of his grandfather's sins upon himself. Generations of fear and guilt had been laid upon him—until David remembered and fulfilled his promise.
There are probably people in our lives who have been affected by promises we've failed to keep. It is important that we try to fulfill whatever promises we are able to. When we can't, the least we can do is to ask what our neglect meant to those we disappointed.
As we make amends we restore to others what rightfully belongs to them.
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.