Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8).
Being on guard against the smooth-as-silk words of salesmen requires continuing alertness. The sales pitch comes from the media, acquaintances, and even friends. It may be subtle or open, but always involving. The matter may be good for you or it may change you. That was Pauls message to the ColossiansBeware lest any man spoil youi.e., change your perspective, persuade you to accept a humanistic mindset, perhaps even unknowingly.
In verses 2 and 3 Paul explains how to have sure knowledge. It comes from the Father and Christ, In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It doesnt change with time, nor is it variable with circumstance. In Christs ministry, Matthew reports, And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? (Matthew 13:54).
The longer we live, the more traditions of men are formed. They are the ways we do things in our families, work, and social activities. After a while it is difficult to tell how the tradition originated and why we are still doing it. Traditions can even rule our lives and dictate our beliefs.
Paul taught us not to give heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:14), but urged rather to be Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7). Traditions may come from the outside, or we may make them ourselves, but we must ever be on guard to what they are and how they influence our lives. KBC