Matthew 15:5-6 “But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”
The power of tradition.
Jesus makes the statement that men’s traditions are more potent than the commandments of men, rendering them of none effect. Those who have been a part of any religious denomination are subject. When religion teaches that which adds to or detracts from God’s Word, it exercises that power.
The most beautiful truth I have learned is that God’s Word holds all that I could ever want or need. Yet, I must stand guard never to allow what I am taught to usurp the truth.
We grow comfortable with the people who teach us and accept what they teach as truth. We should always be on guard no matter who they are and what they present. That principle can keep our hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Every one of us has a society and culture in which we live. We cannot add or infuse that society or culture into our beliefs as it then becomes the tradition that will deflect our gaze from the truth.
Often, it comes in the form of music. The power of music often bypasses the logic because it touches our emotions. God has a filter by which we weigh all truth.
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, and worthy of praise are the standard for our thinking. Tradition has power in that we feel as if we deny a part of our heritage.
Raised in a religious home, I experienced firsthand the power of tradition. When presented with the gospel, I stood in the valley of decision. On the one hand, were my parent’s beliefs and religion. On the other was the pure freedom offered me in Christ.
I felt it a part of betrayal to decide against my parents. That power that pulled me nearly kept me from salvation. It was only after I placed my faith in Christ that I realized the strength and power of tradition.
We become loyal to the traditions we learn. It becomes infused in our way of life. Traditional and cultural practices must never trump our faith and practice.
As you gather to worship today, look at all the things that make your church unique and put it through God’s filter. Whatever makes it on the other side is acceptable to God.
The freedom that comes resting in truth is peaceful and brings such comfort. But we must never relax. It is then our enemy works. Keeping guard must be a way of life.