Number three is going to be fun. Catch up on the 10 Commandments series.
- No other gods.
2. No idols.
Alright, so here is the third one: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
Alright, so first, let’s make sure we know what “vain” means. That’s the key word. My trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary should be helpful.
- No real value
- Marked by a lack of effectiveness or success
- Proud of one’s looks or abilities
Alright, well the first two seem to fit the context. Basically, God doesn’t want you tossing His name around for the sake of doing it. There must be purpose. Meaning. “Value”. His name is important and to treat it like anything less is a big no-no.
Alright, so it seems like people do this all of the time. Out of the commandments we have heard so far, this is our biggest problem. I’m about to take a very big stab here because I know I’m right.
How many times have we used that phrase or a variation like “Oh my God”? I have done this plenty of times and I really need to stop.
The problem with Christians is that we use it because it feels better than saying “Oh shit” or “Oh damn”. Shoot, “Oh darn” is frowned upon because we have to appear “holy”. So, we use “holy words” to express grief or surprise. But, are we really aware of our context of such wording? More importantly, are we serious about what we’re saying, or is it an alternative to “lesser” words.
So, what can we do? It’s up to you, buddy. If you really are using God’s name as it should be used, go ahead. As for the times when you’re using the name to fill a void, there are other ways to go about doing it. My personal favorite is “Oh crap”, but I know some of y’all ain’t about that life.
It’s hard to do this without hearing it, but I have heard and/or used the following phrases when I’m shocked/surprised, or some other strong emotion:
- Oh man
- Oh geez (some say this is a play on “Jesus”. I can’t say I agree with this)
- Oh my
- Good grief (a favorite; thanks Charlie!)
- Oh boy
We can keep the name of the Lord sacred while keeping our mouths clean. I just gave this to you.
Alright, so the USA definitely has nothing on this commandment. We don’t care what you say and how you say it at long as you’re not threatening a life (especially the President). There are times when your words can be used against you, which the police basically tell you to shut up when they are arresting you. But, words themselves don’t do much damage lawfully. Ethics is another story.
When does the USA agree with the Bible? Hopefully soon!