Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
On the way in to work this morning, I was having a chat with God. I am struggling with how to resolve a relationship issue I have with a couple of people in my life. I got my usual answer of “Be still, Tabetha and let me do my thing!” Then I got a startling reminder of my adventure through a twelve step program.
Yes, I once went through a twelve step program. It doesn’t matter if you are an overeater, alcoholic, gambler or porn addict, addiction is addiction and the twelve steps do help. I can even say that if you are just struggling with life the twelve steps help.
Anyway, back to my conversation with God!
He reminded me of a very important piece to the program or at least to a couple of the steps. Steps 8 and 9 are what most people refer to as the make amends steps. They state:
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Now, let me state right now, YES these steps are difficult! However, as God reminded me today they are even harder when you are seeking recognition from the other person. Someone once put it to me like this… “We are only responsible for our side of the street.”
This means, that I am responsible for MY forgiving and MY being sorry for my part in my relationship. I cannot expect forgiveness from them, nor can I expect an apology. More importantly, once I have given my forgiveness and apology I am FREE! I don’t have to carry around the guilt or anger any more. If the relationship does not mend, it is OK. I did what I needed to do. I can walk away a free woman.
LORD, I know it is my responsibility to forgive other people when they sin against me, so YOU will also forgive me (Matthew 6:14). Help me to move on LORD, knowing that I have done what you asked and I am free.
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