The 10 Commandments.
You’ve probably had them drilled into your head since you were little, or at least heard of them. They are the guidelines given to us for loving God and our neighbor. But there is one vital commandment that we often push aside: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.” The Israelites in the Old Testament and the Jewish people today observe the second commandment very seriously. In fact, the true name of God that was revealed to Moses in the burning bush is never spoken or written by the Jewish people, but instead is replaced by “the Lord”. This is done out of respect for the ultimate holiness and purity of God’s name, and of His command to not use it carelessly.
Now, look at our society today.
God’s name is heard everywhere, yet very rarely is his name actually invoked in prayer. Movies, TV shows, and media all throw around our Lord’s name as simply a figure of speech. And because we’re frequently exposed to it, falling into this habit is easy. Satan knows this, and that’s why it has become so widespread. But what’s the big deal? Why does it matter if we take God’s name in vain; it’s just a word, right?
Think about this. When a witness testifies in court, they have to swear on the Bible that they are telling the truth. By making this solemn oath, they are promising their honesty to not only the people but also to God Himself. And if they are lying, they are not only attempting to deceive their country, they are attempting to deceive God. This whole system of using a Bible in a court acknowledges that there is no higher promise to make then to call on the name of God. This is serious stuff.
But let’s look at another example on a smaller scale. Suppose that someone says “Oh my G–” out of annoyance when a car cuts them off in traffic. That person might not be making an oath in court, but by using His name in this situation they are questioning God’s wisdom, as if a “mistake” was made on God’s part for the other car’s bad driving. Wow. It all really gets put into perspective when we think about who we’re talking to.
Now, I totally understand how hard it is to break bad habits or how easy it is to let things slip out. That’s why I’ve come up with a few tips that might help if this is something you struggle with:
- If you’re super excited or surprised about something, just type OMGSH instead of OMG in texts. Believe it or not, this really works.
- Avoid listening to music or consuming media that uses God’s name in vain frequently; the more you hear it the more you’ll be numbed to it.
- Find another harmless phrase or word to say when you are frustrated or surprised (don’t worry if it sounds dumb)
- Finally, ask God in prayer to help you be mindful of His name. After all, prayer is the best way to revere His name!