The role of tradition in the Christian life

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. — Colossians 2:8

In 1903, the Russian Czar noticed a sentry posted in a very odd place on the grounds in the Kremlin. He asked the head of security why the guard was there, but he didn’t know the answer. So he decided to do some investigation and discovered something very interesting.

In turned out that in 1776, Catherine the Great found there the very first flower of spring. So she commanded that a sentry be posted there to see that no one trampled the flower under foot.

Some traditions just seem to hold on without letting go. This can especially be true among believers, some of whom even regard certain man-made traditions as equally authoritative as the Word of God itself.

But what’s important to realize is that while traditions in themselves may not be bad, traditionalism can be destructive. That’s when we see our traditions – our church buildings, our liturgy, even the color of the carpet in our sanctuaries – as the most important things.

Don’t let your man-made traditions override your devotion to God’s Word. Humble yourself and be willing to let go of the things that are of lesser importance. Appreciate tradition, but always keep God first!

Prayer Challenge

Pray now and ask God to give you the right perspective on human traditions and the ability to let go of the things that may overshadow your devotion to God.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think it can be so difficult for people to let go of human traditions?

What are some man-made traditions you’ve become used to in your faith? Do they point you to Christ?