Celebrate Recovery Step 9

Celebrate Recovery Step 9 | How to Make Amends and Forgive

Celebrate Recovery Step 9 will introduce forgiveness in recovery. In past lessons, you learned how to make a list of amends. Now, you will offer those amends to others when possible. In order to do this, you’ll need to forgive yourself and those you are offering amends to.

If you are new to Celebrate Recovery, recognize that of the two main recovery programs (AA and CR), we will concentrate on the Christ-centered recovery program called Celebrate Recovery. You can read more about Celebrate Recovery.

If you are new to this recovery series and are ready to jump in with the 12 steps, be sure to read Celebrate Recovery Step One! If you’re continuing this journey with us and would like to read the last article, please take a look at Celebrate Recovery Step 8

In Celebrate Recovery Step 8, we learned all about making a list of amends. We also discussed ways to easily do this. If you haven’t read that lesson, please do so before continuing on so that you can keep it one step at a time in the recovery process.

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What is Celebrate Recovery Step 9?

Maybe you want to learn how to do Step 9 of AA, or you’ve heard of AA’s Step 9, but you do not know how to accomplish this step – whether in AA or CR. AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous and is similar to Celebrate Recovery. They use the same 12 steps. 

The main difference between the two recovery programs is that Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered recovery program. However, if you are searching for answers related to AA’s Step 9, you’ve come to the right place because, as mentioned, the 12 steps are the same.

Celebrate Recovery uses 8 Principles of Recovery. These principles are based on the Beatitudes found in the Bible. The majority of the advice found in the article will also be from the Bible. Let’s look at some of the features of CR or AA’s Step 9. 

Celebrate Recovery Step 9 states: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Celebrate Recovery Step 9 corresponds with Celebrate Recovery Principle 6 of the 8 Celebrate Recovery Principles.

If you feel overwhelmed by the numbers found in 12-step recovery programs (the principles, steps, and lessons), check out this FREE list of CR Numbers. It should clarify things.

Celebrate Recovery Principle 6 states: 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. The corresponding verses are Matthew 5:7 and Matthew 5:9

How to Achieve Celebrate Recovery Step 9

As we embark on this journey to learn how to achieve Celebrate Recovery Step 9, remember to turn to the Lord when you are in doubt about anything. You might question who you should make amends with versus those who would be harmed if you did this.

While we will talk a bit about making amends, it is critical that you work with your sponsor, accountability partners, meetings, and resources to expand this idea so that it works best for you. Here, we will only touch on a few key points. It’s up to you to pursue the task further.

The reason I give this disclaimer is making amends is a personal thing. Since we do not likely know one another, I cannot tailor your amends for the people you need to reach out to. Take your time as you go through the 12 steps of recovery, and God will reveal what you need to do.

Celebrate Recovery Step 9

How to Forgive Others

The thing that’s great about forgiveness is that once it’s over, you’ve accomplished one of the hardest parts of this step in the recovery process. 

When I eat, I typically eat the veggies and unappealing choices first and save the best for last. The reason I do this is so that I can savor the delicious choices that are left on my plate.

Forgiveness can be viewed in the same way. It can be an ugly thing if you look at it from the wrong viewpoint, but really, it is quite restorative and comforting to know that the situation no longer has a hold on you. When you forgive, you are set free!

Not all forgiveness has to be made in person or on the phone (voiced). You might not be able to contact the person you want to forgive for one reason or another, or they could no longer be living. You can still offer forgiveness in your heart. 

Also, consider writing out a letter to express your feelings. You don’t always have to send it, but an exercise like this can be very healing.

If you are unsure if you should approach an individual to forgive them, pray about the matter, or talk to your sponsor to determine if this is the right choice for this person.

Celebrate Recovery Step 9

How to Make Amends

There are different types of amends. Here are a few examples:

  • Direct Amends
  • Indirect Amends
  • Living Amends
  • Symbolic Amends

Since everyone’s recovery is different, what your journey will look like in regards to making amends will be different from someone else’s journey. If you need to pay someone back a thousand dollars (direct amends), make an agreement with them to work to do this.

Indirect amends is when you do not make a face-to-face confession of your wrongs against someone. This occurs when you decide to do something like write a letter that you decide not to send because of the harm it may cause the individual to whom it is addressed.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, living amends occur when you decide to “live out” the changes you have agreed to in your recovery journey. These are long-term actions or steps you take to show you are completely committed to recovery.

Symbolic amends might be something you need to do if the person you harmed is no longer living or if establishing contact with them would cause more harm than good. 

When deciding to embark on symbolic amends, we must consider whether we are avoiding those hard-to-reach people because this will be a difficult step in recovery or whether this is a healthy decision because of the harm meeting with them might cause.

Celebrate Recovery Step 9

How to Receive and Model Your Gift of Grace

Grace is a freely given gift. It cannot be bought because God has freely given it to us. When we give our amends, as mentioned in the last step, we should not expect anything in return. This is a healing step on our journey. It is not one that will always bring warm fuzzy feelings.

In the same way, we should accept God’s gift as a beautiful thing that we DO get, that we CAN rely on and that we SHOULD embrace and enjoy! We just need to have faith; works will not secure your place in heaven.

Profess your faith in Christ as our one and only Savior, and receive eternal life. Having faith will give you the courage, strength, and motivation to make amends and offer forgiveness.

Grace is an easy concept. It took me a while to “get it,” because it’s not a term I use daily unless speaking to my sister Grace. So, what do we mean by the term grace? Let me try to explain.

When I don’t do things perfectly, when I mess up, when I make mistakes, and when I make poor choices, I would love it if I am quickly forgiven and not chastised about the matter.

In other words, I am asking that the other person would give me grace. 

You can learn more about types of grace, grace in recovery, and how we were given grace in Hebrews 4:16 and Galatians 2:21.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Christian?

If you are not currently a Christian but want to learn more, our website can help! Many people in recovery want a relationship with God or want to learn more about Him. 

When approaching a relationship with God or anyone else, you need a good line of communication. That means listening and talking. You can listen to God through the Bible, and you can talk through prayer.

If you need a good place to start, consider doing a Bible study or starting a Bible reading plan. Those are excellent ways to hear from God. You only need to listen to Him to get those nudges or “feelings” inside that give you a sense of what He is trying to tell you.

The other way to connect with God is through prayer. Prayer can be as simple or complex as you wish it to be. On our website, you will find many prayer resources. These can enhance your prayer life and help you communicate with our Creator in new ways.

Another way to start your walk with God by doing a simple and straightforward Bible study that we wrote – How to Have a Quiet Time with God. This 8-week Bible study will help you build your quiet time with the Lord if you do not already have one established.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Celebrate Recovery Step 9

Bonus Tips for Celebrate Recovery Step 9

It’s wise to try different suggestions to master Celebrate Recovery Step 9. If one of the following tips does not work for you, just use a different one!

  • Meet like-minded Christians and others who are in recovery, looking for help with their hurts and bad habits. You can do this at a Celebrate Recovery meeting near you. CR is a judgment-free atmosphere, so what do you have to lose?
  • Work on building your relationship with God! This is a surefire way to success in recovery! God is so good and will bless you in so many ways if you let Him!
  • To get the most out of your recovery journey, you should join a Celebrate Recovery Step Study! While the recovery meetings get you started and attending one is a positive first step, a step study is the best way to completely dig in and recover!
  • Memorize the Serenity Prayer so that you will have this tool at your fingertips every time you run into an issue related to your recovery. This is a powerful tool to use when trials overwhelm you. Having it memorized will help you so much!

Related: Celebrate Recovery Step 17 – How to Forgive

Related: Celebrate Recovery Step 18 – How to Accept Grace

Be sure to purchase the Celebrate Recovery Study Guide Book 3 for additional information on how to complete Celebrate Recovery step 9! Step 9 is the last step in this book.

Bonus Celebrate Recovery Step 9 Resources

These bonus Celebrate Recovery Step 9 resources will help you walk through the 12 steps of recovery while doing this important step in your life!

A Celebrate Recovery Step 9 Video

Step 9 of the 12 Steps of AA – Made Direct Amends – Recovery His Way – Episode 71

Celebrate Recovery Step 9 Resources

  • The Celebrate Recovery Study Bible is a great Bible choice for you as you work through the 12 steps of recovery. There are many additional resources in this Bible that can be quite helpful and inspiring.
  • The Celebrate Recovery 365 Devotional Book is a wonderful resource that can help you achieve peace and comfort on your spiritual walk with the Lord or on your road to recovery! There are Bible verses, prayers, and devotional content in this book.
  • The Celebrate Recovery Blog Series – In our Celebrate Recovery blog series, we will walk you through the CR lessons and help you learn how to resist temptation and turn to trusted resources and people instead.
  • Most of our Celebrate Recovery posts have free worksheets and study guides that you can access for FREE in the Shop. Check out our first article – What is Celebrate Recovery?
  • If you have not bought the third study guide in Celebrate Recovery, go ahead and purchase it to have access to even more questions that will help you on your walk.
Celebrate Recovery Step 9


Congratulations! You are now well-versed in taking this step of recovery! Accomplishing step 9 in recovery is no easy feat. Celebrate Recovery Step 9 showed you how to forgive, make amends, and accept the freely given gift of grace from God.

As you aim to accomplish this step or are working through the steps of recovery, would you consider joining our newsletter? We update content frequently and would love to have you as a reader! 

Please continue to enjoy our Celebrate Recovery articles. They have many lessons, study guides, and free printables that relate to Celebrate Recovery and each step!

If you have taken these steps in recovery, please leave a comment! We’d love to hear how your journey is going! Continue working through the 12 steps of recovery. Trust the recovery process and believe in God to truly prosper! We will see you in Celebrate Recovery Step 10.

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