I've been thinking about two words that could either have positive or negative connotations depending on how they are used, but am going to try to portray them by how they would commonly be thought of.
The first word is "captive"--a word that we generally do not think highly of in normal context, but could also be used positively. A few places where it is used in the New testament are: Colossians 2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
2 Timothy 2:24-26 also says, "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."
I looked up the definition of "captive" according to, "the free dictionary according to farlex," because it was one of the first definitions that came up on line (No idea what "farlex" is--hope it's safe) but the definition was pretty good, I thought. So here it is "(1))(noun) One, such as a prisoner of war, who is forcibly confined, subjugated, or enslaved. (2) One held in the grip of a strong emotion or passion. (3) (used as adjective) Taken and held prisoner, as in war. (4)} Held in bondage; enslaved. (5)Kept under restraint or control; confined: captive birds. (6)Restrained by circumstances that prevent free choice: a captive audience; a captive market. (7) Enraptured, as by beauty; captivated."
It is often a word we don't like thinking about! Yet without Christ, we are all held captive by Satan to do His will! We are captive to sin---the "Old man." ---our sin nature and flesh--- with no power in and of ourselves to be any other way-----NO MATTER HOW "GOOD" WE LOOK ON THE OUTSIDE." Everything we do is like filthy rags in comparison to God's perfect holiness!
Now, let's look at the word, "Captivate." it is a word that many times has positive associations with it. Again, it can be just as deadly and awful if the wrong things have captivated you!!!!!
There are a few verses in the Bible that use the word---you can look them up yourself if you really want to.
The "Free dictionary by Farlex" was again among the first internet options. Here are the definitions given, "(verb-transitive) (1) To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm. (2) Archaic To capture. (1) to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant (2) an obsolete word for capture."
Ok so you are probably guessing the part that I liked the best which was: TO ATTRACT AND HOLD BY....EXCELLENCE I love that!! Like I said, people can be captivated by bad and sinful things and practices--depends what has captivated you.
What or who is the "Object of your captivation" TODAY??
But I was thinking about being captivated by the Ultimate gift of EXCELLENCE which IS none other than GOD'S LOVE demonstrated through the person of Jesus Christ----the PERFECT EXAMPLE OF LOVE---selfless and pure in every way!!
And there is no other thing that will ever captivate us more than that once we are His for all of eternity!!!
So are you in "captive to sin" or "captivated by Jesus Christ and His love for you today?"