On Sunday (March 2), we talked about making amends to people we had harmed. If you are in a recovery program, we combined Steps 8 and 9. Here are some thoughts and questions if you’d like to take the next step.
Our Scripture was Matthew 5:23-24. Why do you think it’s so important to Jesus that we make peace with others before we bring a gift to God?
We started off by talking about the words “I’m sorry”. Have you ever said those words and not meant them? Has it happened to you? What was it like? How do you think God feels when we ask for forgiveness but don’t really mean it?
I then told the story of Sam and introduced the idea of “cheap grace”. Look up this idea. The theologian’s name who came up with it is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How do you think “cheap grace” is different from true repentance? How does our repentance make us right with God?
We then talked about how, if we want to truly lead spiritual lives, we must make amends with those we have harmed. If we don’t, the spiritual baggage from not doing so will always weigh us down and prevent us from fully living in the present. However, there are things that will try to hold us back from making amends. 1) We don’t want to – someone has really hurt us and we don’t want to make amends (2) We think we can just ask God for forgiveness and not have to make amends with the other person, and (3) becoming paralyzed by living in fear of how our attempt at making amends will be received.
Have any of thee three held you back? If so, which one? What are some things you can do to move forward? We talked about several things on Sunday. Remember – amends must be concrete and personal. If you aren’t sure what kind of amend to make, pray about it. God will show you the way. We also talked about how we can make amends with someone who is dead and with someone who is no longer a part of our life.
Remember – in making amends we have to make sure that we don’t harm others. We can’t do something that hurts someone else just to make our own guilt go away.
Our homework was to make amends with one person this week (if you are in a recovery program and aren’t to Step 8 or 9 yet, please talk with your sponsor before doing this). If you need prayer before you do it, please let me know and I’ll gladly pray with you. So, who is it going to be for you? What might stop you from moving forward? What are you going to do to make sure you don’t chicken out?