Something from Nothing
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Some of us may have stolen things from others, but now have no means of paying them back. How can we face the people we've wronged when we have nothing to offer? Since working through Step Eight, we should be willing to humbly approach the people we've wronged. But if we can't repay our debts, what's the point?
Jesus told a story about a young son who demanded an early inheritance and left home. He wasted his fortune on riotous living. He hit bottom, so to speak, and decided to go back to his father. He had nothing left of what he had taken and no means with which to ever repay his father. We can imagine his feelings as he rehearsed what he would say.
"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. . . . his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! . . . We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began" (Luke 15:20-24).
We may feel like we have nothing to offer. But to the people who love us, we are more important than anything else we could give them. The apostle Paul said, "Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another" (Romans 13:8). Though we may not be able to pay our debts right away, we can still offer our love.
Making amends can be the richest of gifts.
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.