Harming You & Me

“We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” (AA Step 8)

Listing all the people we have harmed will probably trigger a natural defensiveness. With each name we write down, another mental list may begin to form – a list of the wrongs that have been done to us. How can we deal with the resentment we hold toward others so we can move toward making amends?

(Matthew 18:23-35) – Jesus told a story of the king that decided to bring all accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. One such servant owed a HUGE amount. The man begged for forgiveness because he couldn’t pay. The king was filled with pity and forgave the debt. When the man left he went to a fellow servant that owned him much less and physically threatened him for payment. When the king heard of this he summoned the servant he had forgiven. “You evil servant,” he said. “I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant?”

When we look at all that God has forgiven us, it makes sense to choose to forgive others. This also frees us from the torture of festering resentment. We can’t change what others have done to us, but we can write off their debts and become willing to make amends for our wrongs.

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