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A tradition is a ritual or belief handed down from one generation to another. Many people like traditions because they can give a sense of stability, consistency, and connection. Not all traditions are bad. In fact, many traditions are very good and helpful because they are based on Biblical principles. If, however, a tradition is at odds with God’s commands, we must reject that tradition so that we can obey God. Sadly, many people confuse traditions and God’s commands. They assume that because something has “always” been done, it must be right. They are not humble enough to admit that they and those who have gone before them might have been wrong. This was one of the glaring problems of the Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day. To them, keeping the traditions of the rabbis and elders of bygone days was more important than truly obeying God’s word. Their teaching was particularly tricky because those traditions were often loosely based on the scripture. They were traditions of men presented as the doctrines of God. In Mark 7:1-13, Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders about His disciples not keeping the tradition of ritual hand washing before meals. Jesus turned the question back on them, pointing out that they were breaking the commands of God to keep their traditions. But it is not just the Scribes and Pharisees who have been guilty of elevating tradition above the commands of God. If we are not careful, any of us could fall into the same trap. We like to think that we have had it right all along, but only God’s Word is infallible. When our traditions contradict the Bible, we must give up those traditions and obey God.