Step 9: Making Peace Through Amends: Matthew 5
STEP 9: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
The process of bringing a gift to the altar could take days or maybe even weeks in ancient times. It wasn’t as if there were sacred altars in every small community. People would pack up and make a pilgrimage in order to make their offering to God to be forgiven of their sins. So when Jesus suggested to the crowd that they should leave the offering there to go all the way back to make amends to their brother first, it was a tough process to commit to, but the only way we can be right with God is to be right with the others in our life first.
When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surly won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:25-26 NLT
These verses could be used as a metaphor of our addictions or compulsive behaviors. If we do not settle our differences quickly, making amends whenever possible, we might find ourselves back in the prison of our addiction or compulsive behavior. And, as this verse illustrates, we may not be free again until we have paid every last penny. Making peace and righting our wrongs is necessary for lasting sobriety and freedom from our compulsive behaviors as well as our spiritual fitness. When considering your amends, it is important to remember, you are only responsible for the effort—not the outcome.
Key Verses for Step 9
But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:19b NLT
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 NLT
Examine your heart
- Is there anyone in your life you are struggling to make amends? Is there anything this group can do to help you?
- Amends is more than just an apology. What are some really and tangible things you are doing to make things right for the people in your life?
Dear Lord, I want to make things right for the wrongs I have committed, but sometimes making amends is hard work. My addiction and compulsive behaviors were so humbling. I know I need You through this process. I want to show others the work You are doing in my life and in my heart. Making these amends are part of the healing process. Please guide me and offer me strength to do the work necessary to fix the wrongs I committed. Thank you Jesus. Amen.