See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8
We, like the Colossians, face no different temptation than the one that has cried out to our hearts from the very beginning:
Take. Eat. And you will know.
Only now, we hold the Apple in our hand, making a meal of all the world’s philosophy and emptiness with a swipe of our fingers. Every video, post or quiz — every argument, research study, or warning calls out with the same voice as it scrolls by:
You must know. You can’t be left out.
And so we plug in, making so many friends that we miss loving our neighbors, shadowing ourselves with the performance of others instead of the righteousness of Christ, feeling connected through trivial shared experiences rather than the compassion of Jesus.
Our lives becomes link after link after link until they are wound about with a choking chain of regret or fear or self-condemnation.
We ache for God to come through big, when instead He comes in a thousand quiet ways we miss. Our pains and our fears torment and tease us in the dark because we offer no room to them in the light, no comma or period space between screens for Jesus to meet us and shoulder our burdens as His own.
“Takes you captive” in Colossians 2:8 is a battle phrase, depicting the kind of slavery that comes about as a consequence of war. Paul is warning us to not become the plunder of our misspent moments, the stolen treasure of the world’s latest wisdom instead of the rightful belongings of our God. He urges us not to be owned by a thousand Christ-less thoughts — scattered and torn, too many pieces of ourselves slaked off and carried away by enemy lovers.
See that no one takes you captive according to this world, but instead according to Christ, Paul says, who died and gave Himself up for you. His love for you is deep and unfathomable — His desire to claim your heart as His treasure for the sake of His glory so strong that it means a fight.
We will all be slaves, held captive to something.
God help us, moment by moment, to choose the right Master.