Face-To-Face: Making Amends And Changing Lives…Step 9
We need to have 100% confidence in our Sponsor / accountability partner. We need to know they have traveled this road a great many times and that which we share will go no further – under any circumstance. Peoples lives are at stake. People can be harmed in ways that we never knew existed… and no, I am not being overly dramatic. People die everyday because of their addictive behaviors, we do not need to add to the death toll with our misspoken words of confession.
Never use electronic devices when doing a 4th or 8th Step list – only use paper and pencil, period. (Video below donations)
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by alse accusation, I restore fourfold. Like 19:8
When we harm others we must make it right. We must be willing to set straight that which has been made wrong by our hand, our mouth or our actions. When possible, we must “face the music” and that means we must go to our brothers and sisters in Christ, face-to-face. Phone calls are okay, but whenever possible, face-to-face is how it should be handled.
Willingness is not a pass because the amends will be difficult and create a lot of fear in us. Willingness has guidelines as well. Discuss these guidelines with your Sponsor and if your Sponsor doesn’t have strict guidelines surrounding “willingness to make amends” – well, we’ll pray you have one more round of Steps in you.
Here are a couple of examples of what we mean by willingness but unable to make the amends…If there is a good reason – the person your meeting is an old “client” that will trigger the addictive behavior, probably best to avoid meeting them, a phone call should do it. If they live out of town from your location, they have passed away or for whatever reason it is physically not feasible to meet with them, then phone calls are acceptable.
If someone has moved and we do not know their physical address we should write them a letter. We should do this with our Sponsors approval. It should be mailed to general delivery with NO RETURN ADDRESS. The letter should be mailed at a post office, inside, or at a post office dropbox outside the post office location.
If they have passed away and we know of the location that we can physically get to, we should go and pray over their grave. During my 9th Step I used, with my Sponsors guidance, all of these techniques for making my amends with others.