In making an amends list, we review our humble willingness to make a real life change. Just like Step 4, Step 8 requires putting pen to paper. Making the Amends List is separate from actually making amends to people you have harmed.
What is the difference between “making an amends” and saying “I am sorry”?
I am sorry–a sincere apology is part of an amends though not enough.
Making an amends–an effort by apology and action to restore goodwill to a broken relationship.
As people suffering from hurts, habits, and hang-ups, we have said I am sorry hundreds of times. Often truly meaning it. This step takes action on the “I’m sorry” words by asking those we have hurt how we can make it right?
An Amends List Addresses Our Specific Responsibilities to Our Personal Relationships
Asking God to remove your character defects clears the dust out of your eyes so that you can see your part in the situations. Shedding the denial allows you to honestly look at those you have hurt and those who have hurt you.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
This moves us out of ourselves into how to “right” a relationship with others according to God’s word. We are rebuilding our character. Proving to ourselves, God and those we harmed how serious we are about reestablishing the integrity that our addiction stole from us.
Magic Amends List Work Sheet
At this point just making the list completes Step 8. Don’t make it hard!
Based on my sponsor’s ideas, I made a simple Magic Amends Making List Step 8
Fill it out however it suits you. Take out Step 4 worksheets and jot down the names and/or notes on who you need to actively seek out to actively repair a relationship within your life.
Use the three columns:
- People I am Ready to Make an Amends to Now.
- People I Maybe Ready To Make an Amends to Later.
- People I Don’t Know If I Will Ever Be Ready to Make an Amends To.
Or there is an app for that! Try this link to a phone app for making and Amends List.
Tracking your amends list in a journal also helps. My favorite at the moment is the Wonder Journal. this lets you keep everything in one place. Use the Magic Amends Making List inside the Wonder Journal to keep it organized and ready for when you are ready to make the amends.
As Jerry mentioned in the video. Show your list to your sponsor, pray about it, think through what might and might not happen. The Amends List is just that, a list. Wait on God for the timing to move into Step 9.
Sneak Preview–Types of Amends
It takes great courage to take personal responsibly for your actions speaking directly to the person you have harmed. Open honest communication about your actions, plus, listening to the concerns of the other person are required. Finding a solution for the damage you caused in the other person’s life, may involve service, replacement of the stolen item, reimbursement, or another action that repairs the harm. Talking over this action with your sponsor is a good idea.
What if the person or organization you harmed has died or no longer exists? Or, the person will not accept your amends? Then it is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work in an organization that helps others. Service, donation or even creation of a product that will serve others offers a way to repair the damage that can’t be reversed or undone.
Look for ways to be the light in a hurting person’s life.
Repent in Biblical terms means to turn away from sin and turn toward God. A living amends is just that–turning away from the actions that harmed the relationship and turning to God for the actions that make beautiful relationships.
Living amends, especially in families, requires a genuine lifestyle change. Turning from anger to constructive problem solving between husband and wife will change the mood of the entire family. Choosing to manage money and emotions rather than ranting and blaming causes peace.
The Living Amends is the hardest of the amends because of the daily nature. The Living Amends is the most rewarding. Your family and friends will notice!