EXPERIENCING THE FREE LIFE
Making amends plays an important part in helping us learn to love ourselves freely in a similar way that God loves us. This freedom to love ourselves is more than just a freedom from addictions; it is a freedom to experience life in a spiritually empowered way. For example, we will no doubt experience fear at times, but living in a spiritually empowered way will enable us to live courageously even in the face of fear. We will feel pain, but we will be able to express kindness to others and even ourselves regardless of the pain we feel. We do not ‘possess’ this freedom, but it never really leaves us either. This freedom is a by-product of knowing God’s forgiveness personally; being assured that He will never take His forgiveness from us. Yes, we can ignore and even turn our backs on Him and His live-saving and empowering forgiveness, but it will never be out of reach when we are sincerely ready to receive it. There are days where we can stop, look back, and see how far we have come by the grace of God. These are days worth living for.
It is not possible to love others unless our hearts are growing in faith and hope.
Faith and hope birth love as we live out our calling in anticipation of his coming.
Dr. Dan Allender, The Healing Path pg164
Because of the way sexual addiction creates problems for our relationships, we consulted with our
counselors about the most appropriate way to speak with our loved ones in hopes of making amends to them. It was important that we speak to them honestly about our addiction without hurting them by sharing unnecessary or salacious details. Sharing the facts in a general way opens the door for communication. And it opens the door for others to honestly share their feelings with us. Without causing others additional pain, and without airing our dirty laundry to the whole world, we bring caring and thoughtful communication into the broken relationships we created. With respectful and discreet honesty, it becomes possible to make things right and possibly rebuild broken and damaged relationships.
In situations where we faced serious consequences or the possibility of strong temptations, we once again asked our sponsors and counselors for guidance. Some amends should not be made face-to-face. Other amends may have to be postponed for a better time. We will be of little benefit to anyone if, in our attempts to clear our own conscience, we make ourselves sacrificial lambs or march needlessly into overwhelming temptation. Our sponsors and counselors helped us to know how to handle each situation. They helped us to see that there is rarely a good reason to hurry. It is far better to make amends well than fast!
This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only ~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011