Traditions can be good, but they can also be bad. Depending on how high you elevate them in your mind and heart. We all have family traditions which become a part of who we are. These are often practiced during holidays or family functions. These traditions are typically good. But no tradition should be elevated to status of divine decree. When this happens, trouble ensues.
The Jewish Pharisees had a practice of adding rules to God’s Word based on rabbinical traditions. They would then use these man-made rules to try and govern others by force. Once, when they tried this on Jesus, it backfired. They accused him of not forcing his disciples to wash their hands in accordance with “the tradition of the elders.” (Matthew 15:2) Jesus responded by pointing out that they themselves were guilty of breaking God’s Word for the sake of their traditions. In other words, they ignored something truly vital for something of much lesser importance.
Tradition never trumps the Word of God. In fact, Jesus told the Pharisees they had “invalidated the word of God for the sake of your traditions.” (Matt. 15:6) It’s bad enough to put tradition on an equal footing with the word of God, but it is much worse to actually elevate tradition above God’s Word. And this they did. Perhaps you do too.
God’s Word must be paramount in how we live our lives as believers. We should seek to understand what the Bible says, in the context of when and how it says it. We look to Jesus as our Lord and Lawgiver and obey him out of loving devotion. Tradition is fine. As long as we don’t consider it God’s Word. And as long as we don’t try to force our traditions on everyone else. Traditions are negligible; but God’s Word isn’t.
Don’t trust in tradition to save you. Trust in Jesus. Turn from your sin in repentance and submit your life to the Lord by faith. Live as a disciple who loves the King and seeks to glorify him in all you do. Don’t be like the Pharisees who “invalidated the Word of God.” But rather be like the disciples who followed Jesus unto death. And then went into his presence beyond the grave. Tradition doesn’t save. Jesus does. Trust in him.