This morning I'm reading Mark 7:1-23, one of the many passages where Jesus chastises the "Pharisees and teachers of religious law." He did this a lot, calling them out for their hypocrisy and the way they liked to burden the people with made up rules that may have been intended for good originally but had come to be more important than the good they were supposed to accomplish. As Jesus put it in verse 8, "For you ignore God's specific laws and substitute your own traditions."
Last week, I read a conversation (for lack of a better word) on the internet. A group of Christians were skewering another Christian because he took a different view than they did on an issue. And not a moral issue, but rather a political issue. In their minds, it seemed, to take any position other than their own was a sin. "Why don't your disciples follow our age-old customs? For they eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony." (Mark 7:5)
While I'm bothered still by the conversation I read, I'm challenged this week to think about the things -- ideas, traditions, etc. -- that I work so hard to protect that have little real value. What burdens am I imposing on those around me because I think they should act or think a certain way when really, like the Pharisees, I'm simply imposing my own made up rules?