12 Steps to Serenity

Devotional

STEP 8

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

How do we love one another as Jesus commands?

It is impossible to give away what we do not possess. If our inventory of past relationships reveals that love was missing, marginal, or intermingled with pain in our earliest childhood experiences, we must grieve that loss and seek new sources of healthy re-parenting. If our inventory of contemporary relationships indicates that we are exploiting or tightly possessing others in order to fill our own emptiness, we must make healing amends in two ways. First, we must acknowledge and apologize for the ways we have hurt others by those patterns. Second, we must set healthy relationship boundaries for ourselves and allow these boundaries to become a form of “living amends.”

The gospel reminds us that we are to be known by our capacity for love. The source of this love is God’s love. As we discover this source of unconditional love, we become more effective in all of our ongoing relationships.