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07/09/16

Permalink 08:57:48 pm, Step(s): 09 Making Amends, 151 words   English (US)

Reconciliation

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:5,6 )

It seems to me that there are at least three ways in which I need to be reconciled in the process making amends.

First, I need to be reconciled to God. Without this, I have little reason to pursue recovery. Without Him, I am powerless to do any good thing (John 5:30 ) (John 15:4,5 ). And because "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 )

Second, part of what being reconciled to God means, is to actually do what He says (John 14:15 ). And one thing that He says is "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Matthew 5:23,24 ). So, whenever possible and appropriate, I need to make amends to those whom I have offended -- with the hope of reconciling that broken relationship, where appropriate and when the other person is willing.

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18 )

Third, knowing that I have done all that I can do to reconcile myself to God and with others, I can then have the peace that comes from reconciling myself with my own conscience. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 )

"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." (Step 9)

Permalink 08:56:11 pm, Step(s): 09 Making Amends, 151 words   English (US)

Reconciliation

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:5,6 )

It seems to me that there are at least three ways in which I need to be reconciled in the process making amends.

First, I need to be reconciled to God. Without this, I have little reason to pursue recovery. Without Him, I am powerless to do any good thing (John 5:30 ) (John 15:4,5 ). And because "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 )

Second, part of what being reconciled to God means, is to actually do what He says (John 14:15 ). And one thing that He says is "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Matthew 5:23,24 ). So, whenever possible and appropriate, I need to make amends to those whom I have offended -- with the hope of reconciling that broken relationship, where appropriate and when the other person is willing.

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18 )

Third, knowing that I have done all that I can do to reconcile myself to God and with others, I can then have the peace that comes from reconciling myself with my own conscience. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 )

"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." (Step 9)

06/24/16

Permalink 08:06:41 am, Step(s): 08 Make a list..., 306 words   English (US)

Amends and Forgiveness

Early in my recovery process, God laid on my heart many situations for which I needed to make amends. Even though it was a very painful process to go through, I felt much better about myself for making the list and following through with the amends. Since that time I have continued to take personal inventory, and when I was wrong, promptly (well, usually I've been prompt :-) admitted it -- once I recognized my mistake.

But when it's me that has been wronged, am I able to see whether or not I have anything to make amends for in that situation? I think that sometimes I may be unable to see my own mistakes through the pain that I suffer as a result of other people's words and/or actions. This may be where forgiveness comes into play. I doubt whether I can truly make amends in the case where I have not forgiven that person for what they have done to wound me.

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:13 )

There could be other times when I am over-sensitive to my actions and may choose to make amends when no amends are needed. This is less-likely, but I need to be careful to seek, and to stay in, God's will.

I'm coming to believe that forgiving doesn't mean excusing or forgetting the wrong. And it doesn't mean a removal of consequences. But it does mean a change of attitude on my part. It means that I begin to wish the offender well. It means that I pray that my offender may find healing through recovery, so that they may find the peace and joy that I am finding in the Lord. It means that I want to see my offender as an erring child of God, such as I. It means... that I am becoming willing to make amends.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:" (Matthew 6:14 )

"Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." (Step 8)

06/17/16

Permalink 09:13:26 am, Step(s): 07 Purification, 276 words   English (US)

Humble Submission to God

"Now, no discipline is pleasant, but God's discipline is for my own good, so that I may be a partaker of His holiness, thereby bearing the peaceful fruit of righteousness." (Hebrews 12:1-11 -- paraphrased by Sid).

"Since so many have gone before me, participating in the life-changing experience of recovery in the Lord, it behooves me to learn how to lay my issues at the foot of the cross, and look to Jesus for my deliverance.

When I think of Jesus, I see a man who endured much harder trials and temptations than I ever have. He endured all this hardship for the joy of knowing that as a result of His sacrifice, I would have the opportunity for an eternal life of peace and happiness with Him. When tempted to think that I have it bad, I remind myself that I have never resisted temptation to the degree of sweating great drops of blood, as did Jesus.

Neither should I despise the discipline of God, because He does it out of His infinitely pure love for me. As I am teachable in this discipline, God deals with me as His child. But if I refuse His discipline, I become more like a bastard than a child of God.

My earthly parents disciplined me according to their limited understanding, and out of their dysfunctional past, and maybe even for their own pleasure, yet I gave them respect and learned from them. How much more then should I respect and honor the infinitely wise Creator God who loves me so much that He gave His only Son to die for me that I may have life eternal?

"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." (Step 7)

05/20/16

Permalink 08:29:55 am, Step(s): 06 Repentance, 157 words   English (US)

Yielded to His Power

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." (Romans 6:1-7 )

So, I have to ask myself, "Is my 'old man' crucified with Christ?" Repentance calls us to full consecration to God and His leading because "half measures availed us nothing" (Alcoholics Anonymous p. 59). Andrew Murray described this commitment as the key to a Spirit-filled life, when he said, "Being filled with the Holy Spirit is simply this -- having my whole nature yielded to His power. When the whole soul is yielded to the Holy Spirit, God Himself will fill it." (Absolute Surrender p. 12)

Isn't it time "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24 ). Of course, to let go of those old dependencies is easier said than done. But, as I consider the way God has stepped in to help me whenever I surrender to Him in the moment of temptation, I continue to move forward in faith, trusting that He will never ask me to do anything that He will not provide a way for me to accomplish. (1 Cor 10:13 )

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." (Step 6)

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