Traditions or Convictions?

Have you ever noticed that between denominations and even between churches within the same denomination, there are differences in the way things are done? How about between you and your closest friends? Do you do everything the same way? If not, why not?

It was brought to my attention the other day that there have been people at our church ask our pastor why I (and our daughters) wear head coverings (hats or mantillas). The simple answer is that my husband and I are convicted, based on Scripture, that this is what the Lord has asked of women during meetings of the local church. (1 Corinthians 11, Matthew 4:4, 1 Corinthians 14:37, Ephesians 3:10) So if we are convicted of this teaching, why are we not trying to make everyone else follow it?

Some churches believe that women should only wear dresses. This is based on Deuteronomy 22:5 that says that women shouldn’t wear men’s clothes and men shouldn’t wear women’s clothes and if they do, it is an abomination to the LORD. That sounds pretty clear but now that there are pants made very much for women that in no way could be mistaken for men’s pants is that OK?

1 Timothy 2:9-10

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds,appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

1 Peter 3:2-5

…when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. The were submissive to their own husbands.

Romans 14:2-5

One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who east everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

As every believer studies Scripture (“study to show yourself approved” 2 Timothy 2:15) God will open their hearts to His Word. Just like every child does not walk at the same time and every student doesn’t understand Algebra at the same time, God knows that His children will be ready for different lessons at different times in their journey toward Him. I have read the Bible cover to cover (more than once) and each time I do, God reveals something new to me. It does not mean that those truths weren’t there before or that they weren’t true before, rather that I wasn’t ready for them before or God had something else for me at the time.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

God is very clear that He wants the hearts of man (Proverbs 23:26, Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27). Our traditions or habits, religiously adhered to without conviction of heart are not pleasing to God.

Mark 7:8-9

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

Take some time to revisit the whys of what you do and decide if it is a conviction or a tradition. If you are convicted of God’s truth, live it and God will lead those around you to ask questions in His time. Our job is not to convict others but in all things to be faithful when God has convicted us.

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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