Traditions have their upside and their downside. On the one hand, they provide a moral fabric to our behaviour within society … which is a positive thing. On the other hand, well … let’s take a look.

I wonder if you can think of a good tradition in your context; one that adds value to the community in which you live. For me, something as simple as opening the door for a woman and allowing her to go ahead of me is good thing (although even that’s being questioned these days).

But there are other so-called “traditions” that are overtly restrictive; that help, for instance, leaders subjugate those whom they’re meant to serve. They’re made-up rules that suit the elite. And when it comes to matters of faith, to living in a Christian community, those made-up rules are incredibly dangerous.

When I was a child, I was required to kiss the ring on the finger of a bishop – something that I refused point blank to do. It turns out that my instincts back then were pretty spot on.

Colossians 2:8 Be sure you are not led away by the teaching of those who have nothing worth saying and only plan to deceive you. That teaching is not from Christ. It is only human tradition and comes from the powers that influence this world.

That’s pretty clear. Yes … in any social context, including in Christian community, there are, as there should be, constraints on our behaviour. God not only forgives all our wrongs through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but He also calls us to obedience.

But let’s make sure that we’re obeying Him – what He says in His Word, the Bible – not man-made rules and human tradition.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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