July 18 – Tradition’s Sake

Matthew 15: 1-9

He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3 ESV)

Traditions can be both beautiful and dangerous. I enjoy some wonderful family traditions, especially around the holidays. And for years I took part in many rich religious traditions. But for me there came a day when I began to understand the inevitable shortcomings of religious tradition.

Jesus was very clear about tradition. He rejected any that compromised truth. He systematically addressed those that enforced the corrupt religious hierarchy. Man’s rules can never trump God’s commandments. That was Jesus’ point.

I know how easy it can be to do something because that is how you have always done it. But that is a trap that leads to idolatry. At some point the comfortable nature of a familiar practice, even one that starts out as a good thing, can become a dangerous snare.

Bad tradition becomes a self serving sickness. It is toxic. It thwarts spiritual growth, encourages ignorance, and focuses inward. At some point where bad tradition is involved you stop doing the right thing and start doing the wrong thing, all for tradition’s sake.

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