Celebrate Recovery lesson 16-Amends

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16: Amends +Free Study Guide

A challenging step in recovery occurs in Celebrate Recovery lesson 16 as you offer amends for any harm you have caused to others. This takes serious courage, but it is a very freeing experience that you won’t want to miss out on.

Do you remember climbing rope in gym class? Have you ever ridden a bike up a steep hill? It’s not easy but once you’ve gotten to the halfway point, you have nearly achieved complete victory! 

The same holds true for recovery! You are now at the halfway point of these lessons! 

Celebrate Recovery lesson 16 is necessary as you learn how to make amends to those you have wronged in your life. Be brave and take this step seriously; it will change your life!

Lesson 16 tackles Step 8 of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery programs. Also, it coincides with principle 6 of the Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles

Are you just starting a step study or a small group? If you’d like to start at lesson one, here is the link you need to follow: Celebrate Recovery Lesson 1: Denial. There’s a great free study guide included in the lesson, too! 

For the last lesson, check out Celebrate Recovery Lesson 15: Victory. Enjoy this critical step as you move forward in your recovery this year!

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What is Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16: Amends?

Celebrate Recovery principle 6 is: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others. Take a brave step here, but do not harm others!

Step 8 says: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. This will be a humbling experience, but with the help of God, you can do this!

Happy are the merciful. – Matthew 5:7 (TLB)

Happy are the peacemakers. – Matthew 5:9 (TLB)

Do to others as you would have them do to you. – Luke 6:31 (TLB)

LessonPrincipleStepBible Verses
1668Matthew 5:7; Matthew 5:9; Luke 6:31

As Celebrate Recovery loves to use acrostics, in lesson 16, we use the acrostic for AMENDS, which will help you get started in mending your relationships.

This acrostic is from Celebrate Recovery lesson 16.

  • Admit any hurt or harm.
  • Make a list.
  • Encourage each other.
  • Do Not focus on them.
  • Do this at the right time.
  • Start living the true promises of recovery.

Get rid of the wrong in your life, both on the inside and outside, and humbly be glad for the wonderful message we have received, for it’s able to save our souls as it takes hold of our hearts. – James 1:21 (TLB)

quote by kurt Vonnegut

What Does “Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16” Mean?

Celebrate Recovery lesson 16 is the sixteenth lesson in the CR curriculum, which was created by John Baker and Rick Warren. The 12-step recovery program Celebrate Recovery has groups that walk you through these lessons – one step at a time. 

Usually, you will meet with a step study group, where together, you will work through the lessons, answering the questions as you go. Since Celebrate Recovery is for anyone with hurts, habits, or hang-ups, the program is available for you!

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16 is found in John Baker’s Celebrate Recovery Participant’s Guide. This is the fifth lesson from Getting Right with God, Yourself, and Others: Participant Guide 3. We will go over the questions and details of this lesson in this article.

Celebrate Recovery’s leader guide is slightly different from the participant’s guide, but everything is Biblically-based, as it follows the Beatitudes in the New Testament of the Bible. The Celebrate Recovery 8 principles reference those verses.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

What are Amends in Recovery?

At this point, you have confessed your wrongs to yourself, God, and someone you trust. Now, it’s time to make actual amends to those you harmed when you were going through your hurt, habit, or hang-up. This isn’t an easy thing to do by any means!

According to Merriam-Webster, to offer amends is to offer compensation. It is to compensate for the wrong you have caused in someone else’s life. Your sponsor or accountability team can help you accomplish this goal, as you’ll need to decide who to speak to in order to offer amends.

You will want to think about who was affected by your mistakes. Where did you hurt or harm another person? In what ways did your actions hurt or harm them? If you can empathize with their pain, it might help you know the right things to say.

Remember, you are a new person – someone who still struggles with daily battles but an individual who is also victorious over many things! While this task might be overwhelming, think of all that you have already overcome! You’ve got this!!

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16 Highlights

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16 Notes

In the Celebrate Recovery study guide, we learn that making amends is the beginning of the end of any isolation you have had from other people and from God. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty with amends!

#1. Admit any hurt or harm.

It’s important that you look at the wrongs, hurts, and resentments that you have caused or that have been caused to you. If you hang on to resentment or pain, it blocks your recovery and the forgiveness that you can freely receive from God.

Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. – Luke 6:37 (GNT)

#2. Make a list.

When you made your inventory, you created a list of people who you needed to forgive. You also had a list of people you owed amends to. 

Do some analysis. Decide if you need to add to this list. Remember that you have done wrong, just as it has been done to you.

We often remember pain because it hurts, but we forget about the pain we have caused others. This isn’t about feeling guilty; it’s just about taking responsibility for your past actions and the effect those actions had on other people.

Treat others as you want them to treat you. – Luke 6:31 (TLB)

#3. Encourage each other.

It’s a smart idea to meet with your accountability team before making amends to anyone or before you decide to offer forgiveness to other people. This way, you can encourage one another and offer valuable feedback to keep one another on track.

It can be rather easy to feel guilty when you think about “your list” of wrongs, but it’s all about balance when doing this. Your team members can help you keep things even so that you are not creating a purely negative or purely positive list!

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. – Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

#4. Do not focus on them.

When you approach people to offer your amends, you need to remember to be sincere and humble. Make sure you are patient and understanding – not expecting anything from the other person except for them to hear you out! This is the key to giving successful amends!

The key is to not offer any excuses for your actions. If you try to justify what you’ve done, you are likely to seem insincere. It’s as if you are trying to “trap” the other person into apologizing for something you’ve done. Focus on your part alone, and don’t expect something back.

Love your enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back. – Luke 6:35 (GNT)

#5. Do this at the right time.

Offering amends requires good judgment, courage, and a willingness to do it right. Watch out for bad timing, though. If you are unsure when is a good time, ask God for guidance and direction to know when is a good time. 

Another smart move is to work with the person you are trying to communicate with. Think about their schedule and what is going on in their life. Of course, everyone has excuses as to why they cannot do things, so don’t easily give up when making amends.

On the other hand, you should be conscientious of their circumstances. Most people have drama, hectic schedules, children, and a ton of other reasons that a meeting won’t work for them. Keep at it; the person will eventually make time to hear what you have to say.

In humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

#6. Start living the true promises of recovery.

According to the Celebrate Recovery study guide, you now get to discover and live out God’s gift of freedom from your past! This means you will get to enjoy serenity and peace as you embrace God’s purpose for your life! That’s a pretty great treat at the end of the maze!

You can embrace serenity every day by memorizing the Serenity Prayer. That prayer has helped so many people in recovery discover peace. If it works for them, why not give it a shot? What do you have to lose in memorizing a simple prayer?

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18 (NIV)

Quote by Zig Ziglar

Celebrate Recovery Principle 6 Prayer

Dear Lord,

I come before You asking for help in evaluating my past and current relationships. Give my heart a willingness to go through this step as You would have me. Please show me who I have hurt and assist me in offering my amends to them.

I also humbly ask for the strength to give forgiveness to each of the individuals who have hurt me. Since this is a delicate matter, please bless me with the ability to get the timing right. Thank You for all the gifts You have given me.

In Your Name,


Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16 Questions 

  • How has holding on to your guilt and past resentments blocked your recovery?
  • Make an Amends List of those you owe amends to and those who have hurt you. Watch how God increases this list as you add to it on a regular basis. Pray for an eager spirit in completing this principle.
  • List those on your recovery support team who encourage you during this process. (Think sponsor and accountability partners).
  • What does “not for them” mean to you?
  • What does “don’t expect anything back” mean to you?
  • List those individuals who could be injured from you making amends to them and the reason this is the case.
  • List the promises of recovery that are finally starting to come true for you.

More Valuable Celebrate Recovery Resources

Video – Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16: Amends

Lesson 16 of Celebrate Recovery: Amends

Bonus: Free Recovery Lesson 16 Study Guide

In the Recovery Lesson 16 Study Guide, you are given more questions to go over with your small group! The study guide is completely free! 

celebrate recovery lesson 16

More Celebrate Recovery Helpful Products

To further enlighten your time with God, you might look at the Celebrate Recovery Study Bible or Devotional Book (for 365 Days)

My Story Regarding Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16

Hello. I am Michele, a very grateful believer in Christ Jesus. 

I celebrate recovery from several addictions, including nicotine and alcohol. I still struggle with workaholism, anxiety, perfectionism, and patience – as we all do – from time to time! 

As we dive deeper into Celebrate Recovery lesson 16, please remember that I’m not perfect. In fact, I struggle as much as the next person! However, I do trust in God and know that He has a bigger plan for my life than what I imagine it to be!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Holding On To That Which Hurts

One thing I learned about holding on to anger and resentment is that it meant I was not trusting God. Rather, I was allowing those things to fester inside of me, which was keeping a wall between God and me. 

Having walls was truly keeping me in darkness rather than bringing me into the light. I learned that God does not waste a hurt, so I needed to figure out how to grow from the problems I faced on a daily basis, and I did!!

It’s SO easy to embrace hurt and pain and focus on those things rather than on the positive things in your life. Consider counting your blessings to get a more balanced view of the world you actually live in. This exercise builds character, positivity, and courage!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

How to Make Amends and Grow

When I made my amends, I had to explain what I was doing – as you can probably imagine. Explaining why I was in recovery and what I was making amends for was difficult, but it also helped me to grow quite a bit. I believe it can do the same for you!

Just remember that this is not for anyone else; you are not controlled by others, but rather, you can make your own decisions. This challenging exercise can help you build your character, provided you do not expect anything back from others.

You might be scared to offer amends for fear of judgment or even gossip. I understand, as plenty of judgment was passed in my world! Don’t let fear stop you, though. Other people are not likely to apologize when they are not in recovery or growing as individuals.

For this reason, it’s important that you focus on yourself and what you need in recovery. Focus on the benefits you are receiving from recovery, and you’ll come out ahead in this exercise. If you go into it with selfish motivations, you are likely to be disappointed with the outcome.

As someone who still struggles with perfectionism and cares too much about what others think of me, I did have unfulfilled expectations going into this, but once I realized it was my problem, I let go of what I couldn’t control. This helped me grow and build my confidence immensely!

If you haven’t completed this step yet, make sure you do it with the right heart. Remember also that God has your back! He will walk you through this each step of the way!!

Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

Quote by Oprah Winfrey

Frequently Asked Questions

Who benefits from Celebrate Recovery?

Anyone with hurts, habits, and hang-ups benefits from Celebrate Recovery, as it is for ALL people. Joining Celebrate Recovery is not like going to a treatment center, as it is a voluntary program for participants. Also, it does not solely focus on substance abuse but covers many issues!

What are the 12 steps of Celebrate Recovery?

You are welcome to a FREE copy of the Celebrate Recovery 12 steps in the shop at Sharing Life and Love! The 12 steps are the same as those found in AA and include a step to offer living amends to people when it does not harm them to do so.

What is a CR group?

A CR group is a Celebrate Recovery group, where you meet with others in a face-to-face setting. You might find a small group dedicated to victims of sexual abuse or those with addiction issues, such as those related to substance abuse or alcohol. There are also step studies!

What are the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery?

The 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery are based on the Beatitudes found in the Bible. You can find a FREE copy of the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles in the shop at Sharing Life and Love. Celebrate Recovery uses these eight principles to incorporate the Bible into its curriculum.

What is the Serenity Prayer?

The Serenity Prayer used in Celebrate Recovery (CR) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. During the recovery process, it can be especially helpful to memorize this prayer.


You should be proud of yourself; you’ve given AMENDS to such people you needed to! This is quite an accomplishment!! We have now covered in detail Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16: Amends, such as:

  • What Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16: Amends Is
  • An Overview of the 12-Step Program Celebrate Recovery
  • The Details of the Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16 Study Guide
  • Additional Resources – a FREE Study Guide and Video 
  • My Story in Relation to Celebrate Recovery Lesson 16
  • And More!

The twelve-step program, Celebrate Recovery, really did change my life, helping me stay sober and make direct and indirect amends to those I needed to. 

Help us continue this ministry by sharing this article on social media or emailing it to family and friends. You never know who you will reach by doing this!

If you’d like to share your story or suggest an addiction recovery topic to write about, please don’t hesitate to reach out, and we’ll see if we can accommodate you! 

Be sure to get your FREE Lesson 16 study guide and a beautiful Serenity Prayer in the shop!! 

If you are excited about the next lesson (Celebrate Recovery Lesson 17: Forgiveness), stay tuned!! It will help your mental health by giving you peace!! How refreshing!!

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