By Dan Hamilton
Superstitions and good-luck charms come in a variety of disguises. We expect those who are outside the church to follow a few crazy superstitions. Don’t be surprised at nonbelievers kissing the dice before they’re rolled or not making a major decision on Friday the 13th.
Although we hate to admit it, even Christians possess strange little quirks that we assume will draw us closer to the Creator or change the path of our future. Funny little traditions like knocking on wood or crossing our fingers for luck may have originally come from the thought of the wooden cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
God Seeks the Heart
Both in the time of Jeremiah and now, God is seeking after something else. We won’t be drawing any nearer to God just by entering a building. We’re not excused from our sins by uttering certain words or going through Christian motions. Don’t try to impress God (and others) with a good “church face” on Sundays. God is looking for a contrite heart, motivated by the Holy Spirit to produce a Christlike life.
The key in Jeremiah’s day and in ours is honest reform. When we find ourselves hiding behind deceptive words, it’s truly time for us to change our ways. We are deceiving ourselves when we suppose that our lifestyle needs to be “Christian” only when we enter into a church building.
Like the inspired prophet, Jesus was also angered at false worship within the temple of God. He echoed the same words when he saw his house of prayer becoming a “den of robbers.” God’s Spirit is no longer housed within the confines of a holy building but in the very lives of Christians.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
Get out of the habit of using meaningless phrases and repetitions. Turn to the Lord with a heart ready to seek him fully.
Dan and his wife, Karen, have two adult children and four fantastic grandchildren. They have ministered with the Croton Church of Christ near Columbus, Ohio, for over 30 years.