Day 23

Step 8:  We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

 

23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24, CEB

 

I believe that step 8/step 9 and this passage from Matthew 5 are perhaps the most in keeping with our theme of the spirituality of the 12 steps of all possible step/bible passage combinations.  We learn here that reconciling is an act of worship.  Or, at least, it’s important enough that it should compete with our acts of worship.  We recognize here that, in some cases anyway, another person’s resentment is not just “his stuff” or “her stuff” if we’ve committed a legitimate offense.  It’s also our stuff in the sense that it’s on us to go and attempt to make amends.  

 

It’s important here to not get ahead of myself.  Step 8 is another step that is about readiness and preparation rather than doing.  But part of that preparation process is acknowledging the offense (as in the case of the passage) and then we can commit to the mental part of getting revved up to do it.  And we’re not just acknowledging an offense here or there, we’re acknowledging all of our offenses while we make a list of all persons we’ve harmed.  That’s quite a task.  That’s probably why we need step 8 and step 9 to be two different steps.  If they were one, it would be completely overwhelming.  But I digress.  The point I’m trying to make (unsuccessfully) is that the list-making, the readiness, and the actual act of amends making are profoundly spiritual acts.  God and/or the Bible place an incredibly high value on right relationships and reconciliation amongst people.  

 

So as we do this step, do it knowing that we’re not just doing it for those we’ve harmed, or for ourselves, but we’re doing it for God as well.  

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