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BE PREPARED

 

Proverbs 12:18 Thoughtless words cut like a sword. But the tongue of wise people brings healing.

What we say reveals what is in our hearts. Wholehearted obedience to God requires preparation. Repairing relationships requires preparation. Unless our hearts are ready for the task of meeting and sharing with others we have hurt and who have hurt us it isn’t going to go well.

We need to take time to pray about it, set a plan of how we would like the meeting to go and what outcomes we desire. God likes it when we take time to prepare for things with a spirit of thankfulness for whatever happens. We also need to take time to prepare what we want to say to people. The words we use can make all the difference in how we are received.

  • Have you prepared what you want to say to people?

Prayer: Lord help me prepare what I want to say to the people on my list with Your help.

devotional

Step Nine – Day Six
Life Recovery Devotional

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
Bible Reading: Luke 15:11-24

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Some of us may have stolen things from others, but now have no means of paying them back. How can we face the people we’ve wronged when we have nothing to offer? Since working through Step Eight, we should be willing to humbly approach the people we’ve wronged. But if we can’t repay our debts, what’s the point?
Jesus told a story about a young son who demanded an early inheritance and left home. He wasted his fortune on riotous living. He hit bottom, so to speak, and decided to go back to his father. He had nothing left of what he had taken and no means with which to ever repay his father. We can imagine his feelings as he rehearsed what he would say.
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. . . . his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! . . . We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began” (Luke 15:20-24).

We may feel like we have nothing to offer. But to the people who love us, we are more important than anything else we could give them. The Apostle Paul said, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another” (Romans 13:8). Though we may not be able to pay our debts right away, we can still offer our love

Making amends is the first step to becoming a giver.

devotional

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’”
   (Luke 19:8-9).

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.