Today's verse is Mark 7:8: "You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." Jesus made this quote in response to the Pharisees who castigated his disciples for not following the tradition of the elders.  They had taken the ten commandments and expanded them to 613 traditions, something to cover every situation for every day of the year.  As a result, they'd placed impossible burdens upon the people who looked to them for spiritual guidance.  They had reduced what God intended to be a faith dwelling deep in the human heart to mere rule and regulations.  They replaced an internal heart for God with external rules, regulations and traditions.

How do I know what is of God and what is a man-made tradition?  It takes a working knowledge of God's Word.  Jesus never came to abolish the moral law of God.  He came to fulfill it.  When he invades a heart with his love, mercy, kindness and grace, suddenly there is a desire within to please him like never before.  We desire to obey God because we want to, not because we have to.

Therefore, place all human traditions in the mirror of God's Word.  If it is clearly outlined in God's Word, then obey, with a glad heart, knowing God desires your obedience to protect or bless you in ways you may not entirely understand.  If it's a tradition of man, a tradition of the church, it may be helpful for your faith development but it's not necessary for your relationship with Christ.

Always make sure you know the difference between the two.  Why?  Because it's very easy to replace truth with tradition.  It's very easy to replace a heart of faith with outward forms.  It's very easy for our faith to become rote and robotic.  Always remember Jesus came to change us from the inside/out, not the outside/in.

Following the human tradtions have never changed one human heart.