In the course of re-examining my beliefs, it has become glaringly clear how often I stand in judgment of others. I know I'm in judgment because I will immediately be repulsed by certain situations. At this point in time, I ask myself, "What are these judgments based on?" When I search for the answer, the judgment always seems to go back to those understandings I have acquired through my fellow man. My conclusion is that judgments stem wholly from tradition and not truth.
When I was a teenager, I was pretty good at hearing the voice of God within. At times, I would hear Him tell me that a certain person needed to hear specific words of counsel and that I needed to say them. I remember one time I was at church camp. I was to share some very specific words with a fellow camper. I did so and didn't think anything more about it until the last campfire of the week. During the "testimony" part of the campfire, the girl I had talked to stood up and told everyone how upset she was at God. She was upset because she had asked for some very specific answers for her life which had not been addressed that week. She then proceeded to tell us what those questions were. Imagine my shock when I realized all the answers she had asked for had been addressed by me earlier in the week.
I didn't bother to point it out to her for several reasons. I knew the girl had been raised in a conservative household. I knew she thought answers were only from God if they had come through a member of "His priesthood"--probably proceeded by highfalutin language like "Thus saith the Spirit" in order to make it official. There was also the problem that, as a female, I was not even allowed to be in the priesthood at that time. God had given her the exact answers she wanted, but because of her traditions she failed to recognize them for the blessings they were.
How often are we guilty of missing God's blessings because of a faulty tradition we have allowed to get in the way? It's time for all of us to re-examine our beliefs. Where did they come from? Did you learn them at the feet of your parents? Did they come from your (or your pastor's) interpretation of the Bible? Jesus himself showed us the way when he counseled, "The kingdom of God lies within". It is direct connection with God that is important. It is connection that allows us to know the Truth. The more we can see our traditions for what they are, the closer we get to God.