We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Most of us probably have relationships in which we are holding grudges. Sure, we've hurt them, but they've hurt us, too. We become like children quarreling back and forth: "You hit me first!" "I did not!" Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair to let them off the hook! Now, we're supposed to become willing to make amends to everyone? Even those who have wronged us? How?
The apostle Paul left us this advice: "Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. . . . Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.' . . . Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good" (Romans 12:17-21).
This is not impossible. We are not called to create peace, only to "do all that [we] can" to be at peace. We are not required to say that others don't deserve punishment, only to turn the job over to God. We don't give up a quarrel because someone else is necessarily right, but for the sake of our recovery. We can't change other people, but we can ask God for the courage to change ourselves.
This may seem all backwards, but God's ways are not our ways. As we turn our will and our lives over to God, we will learn that his ways do work.
If we've really experienced God's grace, we'll want to pass it on to others.
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.