Celebrate Recovery Lesson 22 – Gratitude

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Principle 7

Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

Step 11

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Colossians 3:16

I have found that if I practice principle 7 each morning, I feel like my day is more peaceful… but when I neglect doing this its more hectic… Can anyone relate? Not that “things” don’t happen to me anymore but my reaction to those “things” is not stealing my peace like they would be if I neglected to practice principle 7
 

Today we are going to focus our attention on the outward rather than inward. We have taken many steps on our road to recovery.

Our first step was to admit that we were (and are) powerless.

Our second step led us to choose, once and for all, a power by which to live.

We took our third and most important step when we chose to turn our lives and wills over to the true Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

As we continue our journey, we grow in our conscious contact with God and He begins to unfold in our lives. And, as we begin to grow in our understanding of Him, we begin to live out the decision we made in Principle 3.

We keep walking now, in peace, as we maintain our inventories on a regular basis and as we continue to deepen our relationship with Christ. The way we do this according to Principle 7, is to “reserve a daily time with God.” During this time we focus on Him by praying and meditating.

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God on a daily basis. When I meditate, I don’t get into some yoga-type position or murmur, “om, om, om.” I simply focus on and think about God or a certain Scripture verse or maybe even just one or two words. Later today we maybe you can spend ten or fifteen minutes just trying to focus on one word: “gratitude.”

God is not a genie – he is our Father.. Not sure exactly how well you know your earthly father but you can get to know your heavenly Father as deeply as you want to, our earthly father will fall short sometimes. He is also not an enabler – God is not going to be doing for us what we CAN do for ourselves.

I need or should meditate every single morning, but sometimes I don’t. Some mornings my mind wanders and I find it very difficult to concentrate. Those old familiar friends will come back. You know, that old familiar pity committee, or worry committee, the “what if” committee or the hopeless committee and so on,,,,  that tries to set up camp in our heads – sometimes they set up a circus in our minds.

The committees will try to do everything they can to interrupt our quiet time with God. But we need to press on and there will be some really great days of meditating and hearing Gods voice….

When I start my day with Principle 7 and end it by doing my daily inventory, I have a pretty good day—a reasonably happy day. This is one way I choose to live “one day at a time” and one way I can prevent relapse.

Another way to prevent relapse is by maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude

WE can try to focus our gratitude in four areas of our lives:

  • Be Thankful to God
  • Be Thankful for Others
  • Be Thankful for Your Recovery
  • Be Thankful for Your Church
  1. Be Thankful to God

First, offer prayers of gratitude to our Creator.

In Philippians 4:6, we’re told:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Psalm 107:15 encourages us to:

Give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and wonderful deeds for men.

What wonderful deeds they are!

What are two areas of your life for which you are thankful to see God’s work?

You can reflect on the last several months or on what God has done for you this week or even today. Take a moment to list just a few of the special things for which you are thankful to your Higher Power Jesus Christ.

  • Be Thankful For Others

List the individuals that God has placed in your life to walk alongside you on your road of recovery. We need to be thankful for others.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the word of Christ—the message—have the run of the house.

Colossians 3:15–16

Who are you thankful for? Why? Take a moment to list them.

  • Be Thankful For Your Recovery

The third area we can be thankful for is our recovery.

As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.

Hebrews 12:1

What are two recent growth areas of your recovery for which you are thankful? List them now. (It wouldn’t hurt to list some areas where you would like to see growth)

  • Be Thankful For Your Church

The fourth and final area to be thankful for is your church.

Enter the Temple gates with thanksgiving.

Psalm 100:4

What are two things for which you are thankful to your church?

Take your “gratitude list” and put it in a place where you will see it often.

It will remind you that you have made progress in your recovery and that you are not alone, that Jesus Christ is always with you.

Using your gratitude list, going to your recovery meetings and making them a priority, getting involved in service in your church are the best way I know to prevent relapse.

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