There was a question asked in one of my recent Bible study lessons that involved the word “captivated”. The word actually stopped me in my tracks. It was as if I was captivated by the word captivated. I desired to understand the word more fully so that I might discern if it in any way described me. The context was Mary being so captivated by Jesus’s love that she would pour an entire jar of perfume on Jesus and proceed to wipe his feet with her hair. (John 12:1-8) Pretty sure if that is what captivated looks like, I have a long way to go.
When looking up the definition I found that there were two options, a more secular version involving ideas of being attracted to or one’s attention being held by something or someone. But then interestingly, my search gave me the option of a Biblical definition of the word as being “subdued by, to be taken in bondage to”. I would say the biblical version has a bit of a stronger connotation.
After reading both of these definitions I am confident that we are all made with a tendency toward captivation. I thought about the fact that I am attracted to many things and probably just as many people since I get energy from others. Often these are the things that I put my trust and my hope in on a daily basis.
While having our attention held by certain things and people that get us excited about the adventure of this life is not all bad, there is that biblical definition that keeps coming to my mind. And I can’t help but think about the things that I could be and many times are in bondage to….
what others think…
my own expectations…
I quickly realize that these are very things that keep me from being captivated by Jesus the way Mary was.
The captivated that says I am not focusing on circumstances and all the suffering I know is happening around me.
The captivated that says I have been given just today and that is all I need to live in.
The captivated that says there is only one opinion of me that counts.
And the captivated that knows confidently that I am loved in such a life-giving, to the Cross way that no other expectation matters.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole word study is that to be captivated this way is where freedom is actually found. How true that when I am captivated by the wrong things, I am actually paralyzed. But when I am truly captivated by Jesus as Mary was, I am free to live an abundant life of gratitude and praise to the only One worthy of my captivation.