Restoration Through Thanksgiving
I came across these words (above) recently. They struck me as profoundly relevant to recovery from sex addiction. One of the ways we solidify the work of restoration, the reconstruction of the walls of our personalities, is by worship and thanksgiving. This was so important under the temple restoration in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah that several Levites were placed “in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.” Nehemiah 12:8.
Why is thanksgiving so crucial to recovery? At the most basic level, thanksgiving delivers us from the “gimmies”, the human tendency to focus on what we do not have. An old exercise in recovery to counter this human tendency is to compile a gratitude list. The list is often compiled over weeks or months and provides a picture of God’s provisions, mercies and blessings. We are told to begin with simple things, our breath, our bread, the gift of another day. We can also be as subtle and sublime as we wish.
Over time, as the gratitude list fills in, we begin to paint a picture, right in front of our own eyes, of God’s goodness, faithfulness, grace, and love. Thanksgiving is also a powerful antidote to fear, resentment, entitlement, presumption and a whole host of creeping things that distort reality and lead us astray.
In the days of Covid 19, it may be tempting to spend time thinking about what we have lost; mobility, face to face meetings, a feeling of safety, even the ill-health and demise of some we love. Grieving is sometimes necessary and healthy for a season due to genuine losses. But we cannot remain there or our souls begin to sour. In the midst of it all, there is also a necessary place in our souls we must find for the songs of thanksgiving. God apparently thought thanksgiving was necessary enough to be assigned to a certain group of people who would never forget. The Great Physician has written a prescription that can save us from the spiritual ailments that haunt our souls. And so18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thess. 5:18. (NIV)