Step 8

Jesus Says "Sorry" Is A Verb

“I’m sorry.” Why are those two little words so difficult to say?

I made a mistake. I need to apologize. It’s not that hard.

So why is it so hard?

Maybe there’s a better question. Why is it so hard to say I’m sorry and really mean it? Or even better, what does it mean to really mean it?

That’s the real question: what does “being sorry” really mean?

Apologize … and MEAN it

I know this will shock you, but I occasionally broke the rules as a kid. I recall my mom telling me to apologize to someone. I’d comply grudgingly, and she’d say, “Now go back and say it like you MEAN it.”

Do You Love Well?

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister...This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Romans 12:9-11

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:9-10 NRS

Our Words and Deeds are Irrevocable

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken!" Matthew 12:36


We cannot recall any word we have spoken. It may be a false word or an unkind word--a word which will blast and burn! Instantly after it has been spoken--we may wish it back and may rush after it and try to stop it--but there is no power in the world that can unsay the hurtful word--or blot it out of our life!

What if.....

… Jesus really meant what He said?

"I did not come to condemn, but to save."

Condemn: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil…to judge unfit for use or consumption.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … [Romans 8:1]

What if that were true?

I know—it’s a complex theological statement. But what if it were as simple as “follow Jesus” = “no condemnation”?

What if every follower of Jesus stopped judging others as “reprehensible, wrong, or evil”? Even “those people”—you know, the ones who are, well, “unfit”?

What if

We refused to make—or forward, or approve—snarky political comments?

Learning to Live as We are Commanded

John 13:35 NKJV
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Back in the 60's, when worship choruses first began to become widely popular, a certain chorus made the rounds in the churches, "They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love" (common tune, lyrics by Peter Scholtes). The words go like this:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love

Do the Faults of Others Bother You?


There is a duty of fault-finding. The Master Himself teaches it. In the Sermon on the Mount, He makes it very plain. We must note carefully, however, where the duty begins. We are to look first after our own faults. "Why do you look at the mote that is in your brother's eye--but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?"

We must consider the beam that is in our own eye!

A.A. 12-Step Christian Parallels: Steps 7-9

Steps Seven through Step Nine

We have many times documented the frequent statements by A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson that his friend Rev. Sam Shoemaker was the major source of the Big Book ideas and Twelve Steps.1 In 1955, Newsweek named Shoemaker one of the ten greatest preachers in the United States.2 Shoemaker was known as a great communicator, and was described by his associate Rev. W. Irving Harris as a "Bible Christian."3

Humility is a Two-way Street


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

Christians Attitudes/Actions Toward One Another

It’s Awfully Easy to be Judgmental


Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

He saw me glaring at him.

As he walked slowly and deliberately to his car in the handicapped-reserved space beside mine, I did everything possible to silently display my contempt. He obviously didn’t need that spot. I wanted to make sure he knew that I knew and that I disapproved.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to be the parking space police that morning. I was having a particularly hard time getting my chair situated beside my car, and I guess I wanted to vent my frustration on someone else.

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