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Christianity

Steps 8 and 9: Made restitution for the harm we have done to others.

 

Principle: Love

Making amends or making restitution is an action step. Many think an apology might suffice. Amends, much like Step 5 (confession), is a humbling step through which we must own and be accountable for the effects or consequences of our behaviors on others and make every effort to right the wrong. If we have stolen monies or property, then we must replace what we have taken plus add one-fifth to it (much like we pay interest on debt). The result of having performed this step is freedom guilt and shame which would otherwise remain alive and buried in our emotional psyche.

Text or Verse

When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the Lord, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess his sins which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong, and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged.
Numbers 5:6-7

If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Matthew 5:23-24

Practice

Making restitution:

  1. Make a list of people whom you know you have harmed.
  2. Be specific in describing the actual harm; what was the consequence to them?
  3. How can you make restitution in such a way that you repay or heal the harm or restore the loss?
  4. Contact the first person on your list and make arrangements to visit them in person to make restitution.

Resources

Rohr, Richard OFM. How Do We Breathe Underwater? The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality. Center for Action and Contemplation. (go to the Links menu to connect to the web-site)

Dick B. The Good Book and the Big Book. A.A.'s Roots in the Bible. Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1997

Selby, Saul. Twelve Step Christianity. Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2000

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