Forging Our Relationship With Our Creator, Our Family and Our Friends…Step 8
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglects to hear the church, let him be unto you as an heathen man and a publican. ~ Matthew 18:15-17 KJB
Never use electronic devices when doing a 4th or 8th Step list – only use paper and pencil, period. (Video below donations)
We take our list from the 4th Step and review it for those we have crossed without them having done anything to provoke us. There is usually many to be found. We then add to this list those which we know we harmed that were not on our 4th Step list. This usually includes close friends and family. It will also include women/men that were victims of our sexual practices. I am not suggesting that anyone has abused another person, I am saying that when in active addiction our sexual practices are usually far below the line of Biblical. We keep this list close and, as with the 4th Step, there may be items that we do not write down, but we make a note for ourselves and for our sponsor/accountability partner, so that we can discuss them.
We don’t want to leave anyone out. The goal is list as many people as possible that we harmed. When I began this part of the Steps, not only was I sickened but what had happened but the volume of people that were not already on my 4th Step had me in tears for several days.
We hurt people with our lifestyle of “carefree fun”. We hurt some people very deeply and we do things and say things that should never have happened. Going through this and then telling them we know what we did does not make it go away but we have at least owned our trash and shown the the people we have harmed we are doing what we can to clean up the mess.