you observe days and months and years! i am afraid i may have labored over you in vain.
[galatians 4:10-11]
the gospel vs. man-made traditions
the struggle against man-made traditions is shared by paul and Jesus, and they respond with similar language:
and the pharisees and the scribes asked him, “why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” and he said to them, “well did isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘this people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
you leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
and [Jesus] said to them, “you have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! for moses said, ‘honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ but you say, ‘if a man tells his father or his mother, “whatever you would have gained from me is corban”’ (that is, given to God)—then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. and many such things you do.”
[matthew 7:5-13]
what non-biblical traditions do you hold that might actually be opposed to scripture?
all things in moderation
God won’t give you more than you can handle
God helps those who help themselves
money is the root of all evil
this too shall pass
everything happens for a reason
you may have heard these sayings, and while there may be some truth in some of them, none of them are in the Bible! these are some “traditions” we hold in the church today, but we have many more. be wary of any tradition that contradicts scripture!
Lord, make us aware of any man-made traditions that are getting in our way of being obedient to you. teach us to lay every tradition and habit at your feet, that you may direct our steps. we know that our only security and our final source of truth is in you and your word. draw us into your protecting and guiding arms!
~ stephen hall