It is easy to judge other people. Judgmentalism and blame come naturally to us. Other people’s faults and failures are simple to identify, it seems. Many of us can remember a time in our lives when throwing the first stone was not only – it was what we thought good Christians were supposed to do.

One of the most dramatic changes which takes place early in the recovery process is an increase in self-awareness. We begin to see patterns in our own lives that need changing. We begin to see our own self-destructive tendencies. We begin to see how we have brought pain to others. As these insights dawn on us, we begin to lay down our stones.

Of course, as our self-awareness increases, many of us attempt to refocus the blame and judgmentalism from others onto ourselves. We can blame and judge ourselves as ruthlessly as we may once have blamed and judged others. But it’s not really progress in recovery to give up throwing stones, and then to start banging our heads against a stone wall.

What makes recovery possible is when increased self-awareness leads to an increased capacity to experience forgiveness. Gradually we learn to accept forgiveness from GOD and others. We receive mercy. As a result, we begin to treat ourselves and others with mercy. When we accept ourselves as humans even though we struggle and sometimes fail, we can become far more gentle with ourselves and with others.

Prayer: Remind me, LORD, to keep working on my own moral inventory, not that of others. Help me to quickly forgive others, and myself, for our shortcomings.

-Dale and Juanita Ryan- excerpt taken from John 8  NIV Recovery Devotional Bible