Elim was blessed with a very insightful sermon presented to us by Pastor Isaac Olennu. He rounded the sermon series about the Holy Spirit, by focusing on the freedom we have received (Galatians 5:1, John 8:36).
Something that can keep us in bondage is tradition. The meaning of tradition is: a long-standing practice, notwithstanding whether it is wrong or right. Traditions are passed on or transmitted by certain signals we receive from other people. Either we unwittingly copy them, for instance, when a friend has created a tradition and we also apply it to our life permanently (“This is the way I am”), or, families, tribes, churches may develop traditions and pass them on. Some traditions keep us from genuinely living our Christian faith.
An example in Jeremiah 35:1-9 on this topic clarifies: people may have made up traditions that do not tally with the Word of God. We should not copy man-made spiritual traditions (Titus 1:13-14). We are also well-advised not to submit to worldly traditions (Colossians 2:20-21). Again, if it is a good tradition, like following a certain command of God, God honors keeping such a tradition because it is in His will (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
Traditions, although they may be somehow related to God’s commands, may nullify our efforts, because by following them, we act like hypocrites (Matthew 12:1-5) or actors. Putting on a performance is not genuine, and it is stressful. Are you a different person at work and at church? Then you are a stage player. Don’t try to impress people or God. Do everything out of the desire to do God’s will.
Psalms 118:17 encourages us: Become yourself and live in the liberty God has given you!