The Twelve Steps – a Spiritual Journey: Step Nine: Making Amends
Written by Chris Jordan, the President of Overcomers Outreach of Canada.
As someone who has over 25 years experience in pastoral ministry, I can tell you first-hand how important and beneficial a Christian 12 step recovery group like Overcomers Outreach is to a church. Through the groups that we ran at a church that I pastored in Beausejour, Manitoba, I saw people find freedom from drugs, alcohol, pornography and more. But not only that, I have seen people grow deeper in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And why? Because Overcomers is a program that helps people progress on this spiritual journey we call discipleship.
In our last step, we were to make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make things right with them. Step #9 now calls us to:
“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Restoration – or making amends – is a deeply spiritual principle that Jesus promoted when He said: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matt. 5:23-24).
Although this is a helpful step in our process towards healing, it is not easy! As Bob and Pauline Bartosch note, “Saying sorry is difficult enough with people we love; making amends with everyone we have harmed takes courage and God’s direction.” *
It’s important to note that some people may not accept your amends. They may choose to refuse to forgive you, but that’s their problem, not yours. When you do the right thing, and make amends in a relationship, you have done your part in the process of healing. In Romans 12:18, the Apostle Paul wrote: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” I think this clearly means that there will be some people who we won’t be able to live in peace with. However, once you have done your part to reach out and make amends, you will then experience a new freedom from guilt, shame and pain.
Who do you need to make amends with in your life? Do it today!
Ninth Step Prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I pray for the right attitude to make my amends, being ever mindful not to harm others in the process. I ask for your guidance in making indirect amends. Most important, I will continue to make amends by staying abstinent, helping others, and growing in spiritual progress.” Amen! (Prayers for the Twelve Steps – A Spiritual Journey).
*Note: Bob and Pauline Bartosch are the founders of Overcomers Outreach. If you haven’t read their book Overcomers Outreach: A Bridge to Recovery, I encourage you to get a copy today. These can be ordered through Overcomers Canada or Overcomers US.