Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. ~ Step 8
In the previous steps we've been focusing on our own stuff. Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our dependency. Step 2 and Step 3: We came to believe in God and made a decision to turn our will and lives over to Him. Step 4 and Step 5: After taking a fearless moral inventory we admitted our wrongs to God, ourselves and to another person. Step 6 and Step 7: We became ready for God to remove our character defects.
After all the searching and confessing it's now time to take responsibility for our actions. Much like Step Four's moral inventory, in Step 8 we will list all the persons we harmed when acting out in our addiction or dependency. In fact, using our inventory list can help us determine who belongs on our amends list.
Reliving past behaviors and looking honestly at how we have harmed others is hard work. But with God's help we can recall the names and faces, making notes as thoroughly as possible we prayerfully examine each person and our relationship with them.
Three categories to consider how we may have caused harm to others:
- Material Wrongs: Actions that affected an individual in a tangible way ( borrowing money not repaid, withholding money to gratify ourselves, damaging personal property, etc).
- Moral Wrongs: Inappropriate behavior in a moral or ethical action or conduct (setting bad example for children, infidelity, broken promises, verbal abuse, lying, etc.).
- Spiritual Wrongs: Neglecting our obligations to God, ourselves, our family, or community (avoiding self-development such as health, education, recreation, being inattentive to others in our lives)
Step 8 prepares us to continue the work of making amends. After making our list we are ready to ask God to give us the willingness to make those amends. As God helps us work these steps we will have the strength and the tools to heal our broken relationships.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. ~ Luke 6:31
The Twelve Steps for Christians.