Covering the Past
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When we walk down the wrong paths in life, we end up in bad places and experience devastating losses. If we go far enough down those paths, we endanger our very lives. We may wonder if we've already gone too far. Is a new way of life still possible, even if we turn from our old ways and make amends?
Even under the Old Testament laws, there was hope for those who chose to turn around and make amends. The Lord spoke through Ezekiel, saying, "Give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?' As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. . . . Suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor's security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die.None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live" (Ezekiel 33:10-12, 14-16).
There's hope for everyone who turns around and makes amends. Our past sins can be overshadowed by the new life ahead of us.
Recovery leads to right actions, and then, to restitution.
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.