Mean What You Say

"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." —Exodus 20:7

One of the most obvious ways of taking the Lord's name in vain is through profanity. Unfortunately, most of us have heard the Lord's name taken in vain in that sense. That always bothers me, because that is my Lord they are speaking of.

We might even find ourselves correcting someone. "You shouldn't take the Lord's name in vain," we might say. And right we are.

But did you know that profanity isn't the only way to take His name in vain? The phrase, "in vain," is used to describe something that is empty, idle, insincere, and frivolous. Think about that. To take His name in vain means to use His name in an empty or idle or insincere or frivolous way.

As Christians, we often find ourselves tossing up little spiritual clichés such as "God bless you," "Praise the Lord," or "I'll pray for you." There is nothing wrong with these statements, but if we say them, we should mean them.

We shouldn't say, "Praise the Lord" or "God bless you" when our hearts are not really in it. When we tell people, "I'll pray for you," then we should pray for them. Otherwise, we shouldn't say these things at all.

Jesus said, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). When we say that He's our Lord, yet we don't do what He tells us to, that is the ultimate way of taking His name in vain.

Hypocrisy in the church is far worse than profanity in the street. Let's be careful not to take His name in vain.

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