We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We sometimes neglect our obligations because we disagree with the systems of which we are a part. This is a natural tendency. But it can become a greater problem when we're burdened with the pressures of addiction. Part of our recovery may involve realigning ourselves with some of society's expectations and demands, even when we may not be in full agreement with them.
Even Jesus had problems with the IRS of his day. Jesus asked Peter, " ‘What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?' ‘They tax the people they have conquered,' Peter replied. ‘Well, then,' Jesus said, ‘the citizens are free! However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us' " (Matthew 17:25-27).
The kings of Jesus' day drew their tax revenues from the nations they had conquered. Since Jesus was the Son of God, he should have been exempt from taxation by the Temple leaders—the representatives of God. Jesus still submitted himself to the demands of the society he lived in. We, too, need to be in good standing with our government. We need to pay our taxes and fulfill any other civic obligations demanded by the law.
We need to make things right even if we don't agree with all the stipulations.
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.