Step 8

Toughest ForgivenessPremium Content

Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.
Is there someone you just can’t seem to forgive?

For some reason, forgiveness is on my mind lately. I’ve written a couple of posts (The Real Power Of Forgiveness and Forgiveness isn’t …) but it’s still poking at me. After some conversation with God (prayer) I realized that there’s one person I cannot quite seem to forgive.

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The Real Power Of ForgivenessPremium Content


To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis Smedes

I wrote an article advancing a revolutionary notion: Forgiveness isn’t... easy.

No kidding.

We all struggle to forgive when we’ve been hurt. That’s sort of obvious.

So here’s a question: If it’s so hard, why bother? Why go to all the trouble of forgiving?

Why not get revenge? Why shouldn’t I make that other person suffer? Why just let it go and let him get away with it?

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Forgiveness isn't EasyPremium Content

forgive Forgiveness isn't easy. When someone hurts me, my natural reaction is not forgiveness. How can I forgive something this bad?

Have you ever heard (or asked) that question?

Forgiveness isn’t our first impulse. We’ve all been hurt, and “letting it go” isn’t programmed into our menu of responses. We want to fight back, to hurt the one who hurt us.

The common phrase “don’t get mad, get even” sounds clever, but there’s really no such place as “even.” Revenge only perpetuates a hurtful cycle. To paraphrase Ghandi, eye for eye and tooth for tooth leaves us with a world full of toothless blind people.

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God's Plan for Us: A Family of LovePremium Content

IN THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY
Often, those of us who struggle with issues relating to your behavior, fail to realize that recovery is a process, not a goal that once reached we think that we do not have to put out an effort. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, that he has ran a good race, and finished the course, and have kept the faith. What a wonderful statement. Paul was describing the process of life.

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Time for a Heart CheckPremium Content

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:27-28

Years ago I had my then preschool-age granddaughter with me when I made a stop at the cemetery to deliver some flowers. My granddaughter was naturally curious about what sort of place a "sembletery" was, so I did my best to explain. As we read a few markers and headstones, I told her what the dates meant, and we figured the ages of a few of the deceased.

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Revenge is for God, Not Us

Proverbs 20:22 NRSV
Do not say, "I will repay evil";
wait for the Lord, and He will help you.

Have you ever been misunderstood? Of course. We all have. We have done something or said something and our intentions just didn't communicate well. Beyond that, have you ever made a mistake, one that ended up costing or hurting someone else? Again, of course! We all have made those mistakes, the actions or choices we regret and wish that we could have changed.

A.A. Bible Refresher: Steps 8 and 9Premium Content

The making of amends and restoring for things wrongfully taken are rooted in the Bible. And there are particular verses from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, from the Gospel of Luke, and from the Book of Numbers that provided what Dr. Bob was later to state were the basic ideas studied by A.A. co-founders long before the Steps were written and the Big Book was published.1

Making Amends and Restitution Is a Vital Part of Recovery Fellowships

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Twelve Steps to Power

Note: This is one of Sam Shoemaker's most helpful articles which shows how "the program" so effective for alcoholics can work for all of us.

One of the most remarkable phenomena of our time is the growth of the movement called Alcoholics Anonymous. My interest in it is personal as well as objective, for the men who set it in motion first found the spiritual experience which changed their lives in my own church, though the first actual group of Alcoholics Anonymous was formed in Akron, Ohio.

Resentment WorksheetPremium Content

Worksheet designed to assist you recognize and overcome resentments.

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Step 8 NotesPremium Content

These are quotes on Step 8 from various sources:

We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self- appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.
-A.A. Big Book p.76

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