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Webster’s dictionary defines “amends” as “to do something to correct a mistake that one has made or a bad situation that one has caused.”  Every human being at some point will be faced with making amends to someone. I certainly have. Making amends is different than apologizing. It is more like taking responsibility for what happened and to make an effort to actually show that you are remorseful about it.

Every recovery program that has any success will require making amends as part of their steps to recovery. I’ve been through several. The older I get I more readily recognize when I’ve done something wrong and will reach out to make amends to the person I’ve offended. Unfortunately, I have trouble with mouth control, but God’s working on me.

Not making amends, however, will lead you to anger and resentment and down a path you don’t want to go, which will only leave the relationship further damaged. Don’t miss opportunities to make amends. It’s all about relationships.

Sometimes, though, forgiveness doesn’t happen after you attempt to make amends. Some people, especially if they are close, continue to take offense for whatever reason. With those who betray us, who embarrass us, who hurt us in that place we are most vulnerable, it can feel overwhelming when the relationship is not healed. And the closer the relationship, the greater the turmoil and hurt.

Let’s face it, at some point you just have to let go. If you have made every attempt to heal the relationship, the burden is on the other person. It’s taken me decades to get to this point.

I lost track of someone earlier this year I wanted to stay in touch with. I called, texted, emailed with no response. I kept wondering, “what have I done?” I finally wrote a letter apologizing for my lack of faithfulness in our relationship. I’ve been looking for a call or response, but nothing. I pray she received the letter since it hasn’t been returned. I pray she’s alright.

The Bible talks a lot about forgiveness and anger. They must go hand in hand. Here’s just a few:

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” Ephesians 4:26

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus believes in relationships, both vertically (between me and Him) and horizontally (between me and my brothers and sisters).  I’m still a work in progress!

Are you a work in progress, too?

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