A New Outlook
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Some of the hurt we've caused has resulted from wrong behaviors that can be changed. Some of it, however, has been caused by attitudes and characteristics that are deeply ingrained. They are so much a part of us that we're not sure where they end and where we begin. Can we change these deeply ingrained characteristics?
The apostle Peter was a devout Jew, even after he became a follower of Jesus. One day, as he was praying, "he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet. . . . In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds [forbidden to the Jews for food]. Then a voice said to him, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.' ‘No, Lord,' Peter declared. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.' But the voice spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.' . . . Peter was very perplexed" (Acts 10:10-17). Immediately after this vision passed, a group of non-Jews came and asked him to come and tell them about God. Peter agreed to go to the home of a Gentile, something that just wasn't done by a devout Jew. But the vision had shown him that his old way of life needed to change.
We're free to change by the power of God. We may look at some area of our life and say, "There's no way! I've never been able to do that, and I can't imagine that I ever will." Get ready! If God says we can, there's a whole new world out there.
As we continue in recovery, God is allowed to create something new out of our past.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.