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“Spiritual Recovery: Making Direct Amends”, Pastor Robbie Carnes, Matthew 5:23-24; Genesis 33:1-4; Luke 19-8-9, It is this ninth step in which the rubber of our spiritual recovery hits the road. After we have done so much interior work it is now that we should make amends with those we have wronged so long as we don’t injure them. This is a challenging step and it is important that we do all of the prior work before we try to make amends. With this step we become givers rather than takers, with eyes to see one another as people rather than means to get what we want.
We all know the need to make amends. If we borrow something and break it, we need to replace it. Not only are we repairing the loss, we are repairing the relationship. The destruction that bad behavior and addictions produce need to be amended for. However this is a difficult task. Making amends means we are trying to undo the work of addiction and bad habits in our lives. But this does not guarantee that those we make amends to will accept us. However we know that Christ has made amends for us on the cross, and we are accepted by God because of that. This gives us courage to extend grace to each other and make amends for the ways we have injured others.
October 20th, 19th Sunday after Pentecost “Spiritual Recovery, Humbly Ask”, Jeremiah 18:1-6; Luke 18:10-14 When we humbly ask God to change us we need to be willing to let God do what God thinks is best for us. Asking God to change us and then telling God how we should be changed is not a humble request. It is helpful to remember that we are humbly asking God to remove our shortcomings and not enhance our good qualities. However, God lovingly desires to give us life and we can trust that God will treat us kindly if we humbly ask.
October 13th, 18th Sunday after Pentecost Elder Tina Ritchie preaching, “Spiritual Recovery, Remove These Defects of Character”, Isaiah 55:1-9; Jonah 4:5-8; John 5:2-7 When we find ourselves powerless and desire sanity; when we consciously commit our lives to Christ and openly admit our faults, the next step is to be willing to have our defects of character removed. This is hard work, but the reward is great. Being willing to have our defects removed will begin a process of transformation toward Christlikeness.