Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.
Mark 7:8, NASB
A newly married wife was preparing her first Christmas Day meal for her and her husband. When her husband inquired why she cut the end of the ham off before putting it in the oven to bake, the wife admitted she didn’t know why. Her mom had always done the same thing. Upon inquiry, it turns out that the women in her family had always done that because her great-grandmother’s ham had been too long for her pan. And the tradition continued with no one ever asking “Why?”
Not all traditions are bad, of course. But in His day, Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders that they had allowed some traditions to take precedence over God’s commands. Like the tradition of Corban—designating personal funds as belonging to God to avoid using those funds to support one’s parents (Exodus 20:12; Mark 7:9-13). This was only one example, He told them. When traditions support the Word of God, fine (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6). But when tradition contradicts or supersedes the Word, it must go.
“We’ve always done it this way” is a dangerous precedent—unless “it” is supported by Scripture. Don’t be afraid to ask “Why?”
Too much religious activity is just old Adam in his Sunday clothes.