We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Luke 6:31, NLT
"We make good actions and let those actions speak for us."
-- The Men of Operation Integrity
The Responsibility of Life
We started to identify our shortcomings, all of which stem from our self-centeredness, in our Step Four inventory. We realized that we had lived for ourselves, (usually without realizing it) and other people have suffered because of it. Now, because of God’s power to transform us, things can be different. The recovery that we are experiencing today brings with it an increasing awareness of our shortcomings, which helps to further illuminate our need for God, as well as deepen our desire for the kind of life that only God can give to us. We see ourselves and the world around us differently from the way we did before. We can have hopeful enthusiasm for our future. This new life that God is giving to us is good. It is better than anything we could have provided for ourselves. But, as good as we may feel about ourselves and our recovery, for most of us, if we are willing to look deep enough to see it, there remains a deep, nagging sense that there is still unfinished business that we need to tend to. This new life in Christ that we are receiving will be short-lived if we don’t continue to grow away from our selfishness or if we forget how we have negatively impacted the lives of others.
Everything that we say and everything that we do affects the lives of the people around us. In ways that are sometimes big or sometimes small, and very often in ways that we don’t even realize, all that we say and do solicits reaction and response from others. The way that we live our lives will inevitably engage other people, bringing reactions and consequences back to us. Like it or not, good or bad, we make an impact on the world, beginning first and foremost with those closest to us. It is impossible to escape the impact and influence that we have. The most honest questions we can ask ourselves are, What will be the result of our lives? What impact will we have? Will we be men and women of change, growth and integrity or will we live for ourselves, taking from and consuming the people and the world around us?
Names of people we have hurt What we did
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter Eight Segment One
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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