Beholden. Such a heavy, burdensome, daunting word; especially during this holiday season of Thanksgiving. Why I chose this word to represent one of the principles along our journey to understanding submission is still beyond me. Truth be told, I wanted to go with ‘believe’ or ‘benefit others’ but God continued to bring me back to the word BEHOLDEN. So before we dive into understanding the concept of Beholden, let’s recap our journey through living a SUBMITTED life –
SurrenderUnconditionalLoveBeholdenMotivate Intimacy Trust
Have you ever experienced the demise of a friendship while being uncertain as to why it ended? Everything was going along well and then a situation occurred where one of you needed the other. Maybe it was an illness or a financial hardship or a struggle in a relationship. Something happened to offset the balance of the friendship give and take. The friendship ended and now you’re not only sad but you’re confused, wondering what the heck happened.
Stick with me for a moment, but I think the scenario described above speaks to my uncomfortableness (maybe yours too) with the concept of being beholden to another. So real quick, cause I know you’ve got a turkey or tofu roll to attend to, see if this makes sense.
As the one in need, we tend to have a difficult time accepting help or care from others as simply being a gift of love. After our need has been met, we tend to retreat. And perhaps we retreat because we’re programmed to believe that our need is a sign of weakness which counters our need to be independent and strong. And perhaps we retreat because the constant presence of the one who gave or met our need serves to remind us of our need or weakness.
And as the one giving or meeting a need, perhaps we sometimes get so wrapped up in our own realm of self-centeredness and meeting the need becomes more about us and our ability to do or to help or to solve the problem. Perhaps we come across as the martyr or savior and we unknowingly project our self-righteousness upon the one we helped.
So no wonder we have a difficult time understanding what it means to be beholden to Christ, for our very nature precludes us from naturally and easily understanding this concept. But understanding it and living it is not impossible. Think of it as ‘Gratitude on Steroids’. Once we understand and truly appreciate who God is and all He’s done for us, then our sense of gratitude expands from simply being thankful, to understanding that although I can never repay Him for all He’s done for me, I’m forever bound to Him by an intricate web of His gift of salvation, His love, His grace and His mercy. My extreme gratitude helps me recognize and relish my dependence on Christ. It’s out of my utmost gratitude that I want to live my life for Him. My limitless gratitude enables me to welcome His gift of my eternal salvation and allows me to exist, not under a cloud of judgment but within a circle of love.
Heavy. I know. I’m still making sense of it all myself. But during this Thanksgiving season, spend some time pondering this concept. As we attempt to understand what it means to be beholden to someone else, let’s first examine what it means to be beholden to Christ. Spend substantial time wrapping your mind around how great God is and how awesome, how magnanimous, how benevolent the gift of your salvation is. God gave His son so that you and I might live. God has given us His unconditional love although we don’t deserve it. God has promised to be with us always and He has promised that when we join Him in heaven we’ll experience no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain or hurt or sadness. We’ll experience eternal life filled with love, joy, peace and unending praise, worship and adoration for our Lord and Savior!
Why don’t you practice now? Express your extreme, utmost and limitless gratitude. This Thanksgiving express gratitude on steroids to God for all He’s done for you. And as we learn to be beholden to Him, we can begin to learn to be beholden to others.
Pardon the interruption. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Thanksgiving program, hopefully with a side of a little more gratitude.
From My Heart to Yours,
Bible Verse of the Week:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18
- How do you define being beholden to another? What does this mean to you?
- Write a love letter to God, expressing your gratitude on steroids.