Thoughts for the Week

Traditions vs. The Heart

Around Christmastime, most people look forward to the traditions their families have set up. Having these traditions (especially around the holidays) can be a wonderful thing that helps build memories and bring a family closer together.

However, it can be very easy to fall into the traditions and forget the heart behind the holiday.

In Matthew chapter 15, the Pharisees rebuked Jesus because his disciples were not washing their hands before they ate, which was a cultural and spiritual taboo at the time. The spiritual leaders of the day were intent that no one”break the tradition of the elders” (v.2 NIV).

But Jesus retorted, pointing out spiritual laws that the Pharisees had not been honoring (v.3-9). The question was, why does it matter if your hands are clean, if your heart is not?

Any one can follow all the “rules” and appear to be a good person on the outside. But according to this passage, that doesn’t mean much to Jesus. He cares about the heart.

This Christmas, it’s okay to get wrapped up in traditions, as long as you keep your heart in the right place and aim to honor the reason that you are celebrating Christmas traditions.

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

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