Mending Fences


– Terri Fornearbandaid on broken heart - square - 8-21-14

Step 8 – We made a list of all the persons we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. – Philippians 2:12-13

What is my heart’s need in relationships? For me it is being known, understood and accepted. How often after being hurt by someone I just wanted a simple recognition of my pain and a simple “I am sorry.” I didn’t even need them to change, just see my hurt, and reaffirm they did not want to hurt me. Oh, that seems so simple, yet I do not always give that to others.

Step 8 gives me a chance to list those I have hurt and become willing or courageous to “love” them – whether they receive it or not. This step opens the door for me to see the pain I’ve caused others and set me free from making my pain master over my feelings and thoughts about myself.

How to Get Started:

I start this list with those who have hurt me. The reason I start here is because we often hurt others when we’ve been hurt. In my flesh, I may have erected hurtful barriers to protect myself. This list will help me consider if I’m holding a grudge against anyone. Am I avoiding them to protect myself or because that is a love action towards both of us? Am I trying to change them or manipulate them to see that they hurt me? Am I judging them for their faults which caused me pain? This list helps me see my wrongs and become willing to let go and forgive the other person’s actions – to let Christ’s Love into this relationship. His grace begins to wash away the hurt I think is owed me.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  – Hebrews 12:1-2

His love for me compels me to love in the face of my imperfections. I become willing through His love to say I am sorry… I am wrong.

The columns for each person on your list may look like this:

1) Person who hurt me
2) The exact wrong
3) Feelings produced
4) Self-protection – how I hurt them

Now you’ll be willing to do Step 9!

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