Be careful not to misuse God’s name

The third of the Ten Commandments informs us that we should be very careful about the use and abuse of God’s name.

The third of the Ten Commandments informs us that we should be very careful about the use and abuse of God’s name.

On the surface, the third commandment seems to be banning profanity, but when careful looked at, it reveals that much more is at stake.   His name tells us what kind of God He is. Of the over 300 names for God given in the Bible, each is a revelation of the holy, sacred character of God. Never are they to be uttered or treated lightly.


“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name,” Exodus 20: 7.   


One of the ways God’s name is misused is through profanity. Webster’s dictionary defines profanity as to violate or treat with irreverence or contempt something regarded as sacred. The word literally means “before the temple.” So, a profane word is one you would not use in church.


Another way God’s name is misused is through intimidation. This occurs when one uses God and his name to get their way.  Do not use God’s name in your own ways, mostly the false prophets. 

Still another way God’s name is misused, oddly enough, is to impress. Sadly, some people use God’s name to impress how spiritual they are.  God’s name is also misused frivolously. We often people exclaim: “My Gosh!” while meaning “my God!” when in real in real sense it means something else. Sometimes this is used in anger with eyes closed:

“I caught a ten pound fish.”  “Good God.”

“Bill and Sarah got married.” “Oh Lord.”

“I tore my pants.” “Oh my God.”

Matthew 5: 33-37 says:   “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’  But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.   Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” 

Let’s not misuse God’s name. Let’s be ambassadors for him - not an embarrassment to Him - because He is the Name above all names.

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