It is difficult to admit when we are wrong. We’ve established this fact as we embarked on Step 5. But, how hard is it to ask others to forgive us when we are wrong? It used to be extremely hard for me.
I heard someone say or read somewhere “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” Who in the world said that? Obviously, someone who thought they were always right about everything. Actually, I used to feel this way. There was a time where I thought I had to be right. Okay, sometimes I still do, but after going through the steps of recovery I can see when I am definitely wrong about a choice, reaction, or feeling.
Something someone says or does will remind me of my past and it will trigger a reaction in me that I am not always proud of. Anger, resentment, fear, pride, selfishness, self-preservation; the list goes on. Here’s the deal. Love is ABOUT sometimes having to say I’m sorry. But it’s more than the action of verbalizing “I’m sorry” and moving on. It is about actually meaning it and turning away from doing it again. This is part of repentance.
How about if I have wronged God? You read that right. I have realized through recovery, my actions and choices also hurt God. God tells me through His word, that He grieves with me (Ephesians 4:30). He hurts when I hurt (Isaiah 63:9). He has the same emotions I do. He relates to me. So, it stands to reason, I can hurt God by my actions and my words towards His children.
Paul explains this to the people of Ephesus. In Ephesians, Paul writes to the people to explain several points, one of which is how to treat one another. Specifically, in Ephesians 4:32, Paul tells the people to;
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
I am Christian. I know I am forgiven. That doesn’t mean I don’t continue to do things that grieve the Holy Spirit. The difference between my old and new self, as a result of my Christianity, is I recognize when I have hurt others and God with my words or actions. I have the desire to make things right. I have the need to repent for my actions.
Love is ABOUT sometimes having to say I’m sorry, but also meaning it and turning away from repeating the action.
Step 9 is where I take my list of people I have harmed and made direct amends to them if it is possible. The only time I cannot make amends is if it would injure or cause harm to them or others. Before I make amends with others, I need to make my amends to God. My love for Him IS having to say I’m sorry, but it’s also about not continually repeating the negative actions and reactions. It’s about living my life as Jesus lived. I know I am not God, but I strive to be more like Him every day. I make a commitment to live out Ephesians 4:32 as much as I humanly can.
Before I make amends with others, I need to make my amends to God.
Take me to the next post in the series
Think About It:
How have you hurt God or grieved the Holy Spirit?
How have your actions or reactions hurt others?
Are you prepared to make your amends to God and others you have harmed?
Before you begin your amends to others, please talk about it with your mentor, pastor, or other trusted, safe person in your life.
Download the September Reading Plan© (subscriber password required) and Read Ephesians 4:32, Ephesians 4:30, and Isaiah 63:9.
Journal About it:
Follow along in the My Journey Journal© (subscriber password required) and write about how the questions and scriptures today resonated with you. As you write, thank Him for showing you the way in your journey.
Pray About it:
As you think and write, say this prayer with me.
I praise you for forgiving me of my sins. I give you the glory for the grace and mercy you showed me on the cross. I ask you help me to see when my actions and reactions have harmed You and others. Give me the strength to admit my wrongs to those I’ve harmed and give me the courage to make my amends to them.
In Jesus' name,
Talk About it:
I would love to hear from you! I enjoy connecting and keeping in touch. Do you feel as though you don’t have anyone you can share with confidentially? Your anonymity is protected. Do you feel you are the only one struggling with the after effects of growing up with an alcoholic parent? YOU are not alone! It’s time to break free from the shackles of your controlling habits, trust issues, co-dependency, guilt, self-blame, hurts, regrets, and heartaches! Your NEW Normal starts NOW!
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