Trumping Tradition

by APC on December 09, 2015

Around the holidays, everyone has their seasonal “traditions”—selecting the perfect Christmas tree, baking cookies/making candy, driving through neighborhoods to view festively decorated landscapes, caroling downtown, gathering with friends and family on particular dates—the list may be endless for some.

As new friends and family enter our life, these traditions may be changed slightly to accommodate a new tradition “perspective,” but on the whole they stay the same. These traditions are wonderfully cherished, and we cling to them with a tight grasp.

Have we ever sat down to determine why we follow our traditions routinely year after year? When and how were they started? By whom? Do our traditions even make sense? Benefit anyone? Cause stress or happiness? Our mindset may be to traverse through our traditions because “that’s what we’ve always done”—no rhyme or true reason.

When we think about our walk with God and our participation in celebratory rituals around the holidays (or otherwise), belief systems, and/or pure relationship with the Almighty God, do we treat Jesus with the same lens? Do we pray, attend church, volunteer in shelters, donate to church ministries, etc. because of tradition?

Do we truly follow after Scripture in what we believe and how to have a right relationship with the Lord of Glory, or is what we do based on what we’ve seen others do and what we’ve heard others say? Do we have a relationship with God today because we want to, or because everyone we know has always done so and we’re “going with the flow” and doing “what’s always been done?”

Scripture tells us to, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16, KJV). Do we know what the true old paths are that our Patriarchs of Faith followed after? Or, have we watered down our walk with the Lord due to tradition—something passed down through time that we no longer understand, and lost the true meaning?

While others may seek after a traditional path, let’s take a step back and analyze the road we travel starting today. If we use the Word and Jesus as our true measuring stick, we may find what we think we know and do isn’t so closely aligned with Scripture after all. We may find that we really don’t have an intimate relationship with God on our own—we’ve just been riding on someone else’s coattails.

But, today is a new day and we can break free of the cookie-cutter mold—the reoccurring event on our calendars! We can challenge what we’ve always done, and evaluate it through prayer, fasting, and reading the Word of God. We will glean answers to all of these questions through revelation by His Spirit. The next time someone asks us, “Why do you do what you do?”—we’ll have an answer!

Let’s not allow our lives to be consumed with the element of tradition—during this Christmas season or at any other time. We need to know, that we know, that we know what the Word of God says, both written and spoken if we are truly to have a right relationships with Him. We may find ourselves staring something new this season. And, after some time, we may be following after true tradition after all.