woman and man talking while holding hands
The Importance of Making Amends in Recovery
June 5, 2018
No Regrets
June 5, 2018
woman and man talking while holding hands
The Importance of Making Amends in Recovery
June 5, 2018
No Regrets
June 5, 2018

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

By Anthony Acampora, Director & Chaplain
Banyan’s Faith in Recovery Program

You may recall a time when your mother or father said to you, “You need to be grateful for what you have.”

I know I heard that many times growing up, but I usually dismissed it as just something parents would say when they were not going to buy me what I was asking for. The phrase really did not have much meaning at the time. After experiencing tremendous loss later on in life, I now have a much deeper appreciation for being thankful for God’s many blessings.

Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12,13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Now let’s take a look at the definition of gratitude:

Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has as opposed to the consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs.

Quite the contrast, we have the Apostle Paul, who was once a prominent Jewish leader named Saul and, after his conversion to Christianity, became Paul, now writing the above passage from prison. He is focusing on what he has rather than what he no longer has or needs.

When we have an ungrateful heart, it seems like a bottomless pit of sorts. The more we acquire, the more we want or feel we need. We begin to live out the second half of the above definition, “consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs.”

In the gospel of Luke 17:12-19, there is a story of Jesus healing ten men from the horrible illness of leprosy. Only one of the ten men that Jesus healed showed any gratitude or thanks. This prompted Jesus to say, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?”

What insight does this story provide for us today? That God recognizes when we are ungrateful.

Often, we spend much time and effort asking God for things, and when He provides them, we spend much less time giving thanks for the answered prayer. I know I have been guilty of it. When we begin to focus more on the things that we already have and less time on what we want or think we need, the process of cultivating a grateful heart is set in motion!

Importance of Gratitude in Addiction Recovery

Gratitude is an important tool for healing and transformation throughout the road to addiction recovery. When addiction is at its worst, people are frequently consumed by the negative effects of their behavior and lose sight of the positive aspects of life. But developing an attitude of thankfulness can help people change their viewpoint, encourage introspection, and provide the groundwork for long-lasting healing.

To begin, being thankful enables those overcoming addiction to change their attention from what they lack to what they have. Due to their persistent search for external sources of happiness, addicts may develop a worldview of scarcity and dissatisfaction. By cultivating gratitude, they come to appreciate the wealth and blessings in their lives, whether it be the companionship of loved ones, epiphanies, or the chance for a new beginning. This change in perspective fosters contentment and lessens the drive to find pleasure through harmful habits in people.

Second, feeling grateful helps people to think about their acts and accept responsibility for them. Recognizing and addressing the harm done to oneself and others is crucial to addiction recovery. Gratitude enables people to acknowledge the assistance, pardon, and second chances they have been given along the path. This recognition fosters a spirit of humility and gives them the motivation to make amends, alter their behavior, and further their own healing process. Gratitude helps people grow personally and inspires them to take more responsibility for their actions.

Last but not least, thankfulness fosters a positive outlook and improves emotional well-being. Recovery from addiction is a difficult journey that may be accompanied by emotions of shame, remorse, and hopelessness. By encouraging optimistic thinking and building resilience, gratitude serves as a counterbalance to these unfavorable feelings. People who are in recovery can feel joy, hope, and optimism by concentrating on what they are grateful for. Their resolve to overcome obstacles and uphold their sobriety is strengthened by this optimistic outlook, laying the groundwork for long-term recovery.

Appreciating this type of wisdom is not easy until one experiences it for themselves. At our Christian-based rehab center, we offer Christ-centered addiction treatment that is designed to enrich the lives of our patients and help them realize their own strength through the power of God. With a number of faith-based recovery programs at our disposal, our patients can enjoy a genuinely impactful and life-changing treatment experience with a community built on belief and compassion.

 If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, please call our faith-based treatment center today at 888-280-4763.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, please call our faith-based treatment center today at 888-280-4763.