“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
We made a list of all persons we had harmed,
and became willing to make amends to them all.
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 further illuminates our need for God and deepens 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, most of us—if we are willing to look deep enough to see it—still experience a deep, nagging sense that there is 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 we say and everything we do affects the lives of people around us. In ways that are big and small, and often in ways we don’t even realize, all that we say engages other people, bringing reactions and consequences back to us. Like it or not, we make an impact on the world—good or bad—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?