We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
While in recovery, we learn to accept responsibility for our actions, even when we're powerless over our addictions. We come to realize that all our actions yield consequences. Some of us may have deceived ourselves into thinking we could escape the consequences of the things we did. But with time, it becomes clear that God has made accountability a necessary element of healthy human living.
"You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit" (Galatians 6:7-8).
The law of sowing and reaping can also work for us. God spoke through the prophet Hosea: "Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12).
God says we always harvest what we've planted. Even after we've been forgiven, we must deal with the consequences of our actions. It may take a season of time to finish harvesting the negative consequences from our past, but we shouldn't let this discourage us. Making our list of those we've harmed is a step toward planting good seeds. In time we'll see a good crop begin to grow.
Our small, everyday actions can produce long-term consequences for good.
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.