Skinny on Recovery Week Two – ‘IDENTITY’
From Takers to Givers
Bible Reading: Luke 19:1-10
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When we are feeding our addictions, it is easy to become consumed by our own needs. Nothing matters except getting what we crave so desperately. We may have to lie, cheat, kill, or steal; but that doesn’t stop us. Within our families and community we become known as “takers,” trampling over the unseen needs of others.
Zacchaeus had the same problem. His hunger for riches drove him to betray his own people by collecting taxes for the oppressive Roman government. He was hated by his own people as a thief, an extortionist, and a traitor. But when Jesus reached out to him, he changed dramatically. “Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’ Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today’”
Zacchaeus went beyond just paying back what he had taken. For the first time in a long time, he saw the needs of others and wanted to be a “giver.”
Making amends includes paying back what we’ve taken, whenever possible. Some of us may even seize the opportunity to go even further, giving even more. As we begin to see the needs of others and respond by choice, our self-esteem will rise. We will begin to realize that we can give to others, instead of just being a burden.
Luke 6:28 Bless those who call down curses on you. And pray for those who treat you badly.
This I found hard to get my head around until I started to understand, most of the people I was holding resentments against didn’t even know it.
The only person we destroy when we hold onto resentment is ourselves.
Recovery is going to highlight in our lies some bad situations we have been in. We can get resentful and feel sorry for ourselves but we don’t need to stay that way. We can remove resentment from our lives by honestly expressing our pain and shame to God, forgiving others and concentrating on changing ourselves.
Prayer: God help me today to let go of my past and concentrate on being all You want me to be.