Summary: Step 8 focuses on our making of list of those we have hurt during our addiction and being willing to make amends.
Twelve Steps To Recovery Part 8
To date in this series we have discussed the first seven steps in the twelve steps to recovery process. We began by admitting that we were powerless over our dependencies and that there was a God greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity. After reaching that point, in step three we made the decision to turn our lives over to the care of God, a conscious choice that was made freely. In steps four and five we took a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and came to the point of understanding our addictions and confessing them to ourselves, God and to another trusted individual. In step six, after recognizing our addictions for what they were, we came to the point where we were ready to have God remove them and in step seven we humbly asked God to do just that – remove all of our shortcomings. As I mentioned last week, step seven was the bridge from our focus on our inner self to now focusing outward, addressing the impact our addictions have had on others. Step eight involves our making a list of those persons that we have harmed through our addictions and be willing to make amends to them when possible. I know that in some cases we may not be able to make amends and that when we can, it may not be received. In either situation, you must continue to move forward in your recovery, So let’s start with the Scriptural basis for making restitutions.
I. Making Restitutions
It has been proven that dysfunctional family situations affect each person differently. For some individuals they take on the act that they are irresponsible and constantly condemn themselves for it. Others admit that they are irresponsible but they blame others for their behavior taking on none of the responsibility for their actions. Then there are those of us who have not recognized our irresponsible behavior yet we are constantly facing recurring problems with others because we fail to respect them or their property. In this step, we begin to list all of those who have been hurt by us and think through what can be done to make amends. In the Old Testament, when someone was harmed by someone else, the Law required that restitution be made. Consider the following from Exodus 22:10-15 which reads “Now supposed someone leaves a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal with a neighbor for safekeeping, but it dies or is injured or gets away, and no one sees what happened. The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the Lord. If the Lord confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required. But if the animal was indeed stolen, the guilty person must pay compensation to the owner. If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the remains of the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no compensation will be required. If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation. But if the owner was present, no compensation is required. And no compensation is required if the animal was rented, for the loss is covered by the rental fee.”