We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Irresponsibility is often associated with those who are caught up in addictive family systems. We may see ourselves as irresponsible and condemn ourselves. Or we may notice our irresponsible behavior, but excuse ourselves because of all that we've been dealing with. Or we may not even notice our irresponsible behavior, but have recurrent problems with others because we fail to respect their property.
The Bible clearly states, "If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation" (Exodus 22:14). David once wrote, "The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers" (Psalm 37:21).
The Bible does tell us that it's important to take responsibility for the things we borrow. We may feel like we're being condemned as chronically evil if we've had a problem with irresponsibility. The word translated "wicked" really means one who is morally wrong or a person who acts badly. God sees irresponsible behavior as a bad action which can be corrected. He doesn't see us as hopelessly bad. Regardless of what we've been through, we are still held responsible to respect the property of others. We need to consider who we've harmed by being negligent or irresponsible with the use of their property.
Paying restitution builds bridges with others and establishes peace within ourselves.
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.