I’m about to get rebukeful.
Yes, I am. I know that I don’t usually launch into scriptural exhortations . . . but I just have a little something to say.
For a good number of years now I’ve been periodically hearing very sweet Christian women take the Lord’s name in vain. It surprises me every time – and I always stand there doing a mental double-take . . . replaying it again and wondering to myself if she just said what I thought she said or if I misheard. But no – I’ve heard it enough times now that I’m certain I’m not making this up. Quite honestly, I’m at a bit of a loss. I’m not really sure what the rationale is. (And, by way of making the situation weirder . . . I’ve never once heard a Christian guy do it. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but I’ve never been around when it did.)
Is it because it never occurred to them that it’s a problem to take the Lord’s name in vain? I doubt it . . . these are very established Christian ladies, and it’s not like they’ve never heard of this concept. Is it a total accidental slip up which is incredibly embarrassing when they realize what they just said? I don’t think so, because I’ve heard it often enough that it seems a bit more of an issue than that. Is it because the 10 commandments are in the Old Testament and no longer apply? No – at least some of these ladies were definitely not dispensational and so they can’t use that little “Get out of Jail Free” card. So how does this happen then?
I think the only explanation is that they’ve never really stopped and thought about what they’re saying. Sort of a form of verbal scribbling. And considering that we’re going to give an account for every idle word . . . one of the words I would recommend to NOT be used idly is the Lord’s name. And, just to be clear, I would say that includes the words, “Lord,” “God,” . . . and my personal pet peeve, “Lordy.” (Are we on a nickname basis now for cryin’ out loud?)
Now, if I was a person who was flippantly taking the Lord’s name in vain and I wanted to continue to do so and not feel convicted about it, here’s the argument I would make. (Devil’s advocate time now.) I would say that that is NOT what the commandment is talking about. The commandment refers to “bearing” the Lord’s name in vain – essentially violating your baptism by living rebelliously. And to be honest, I completely agree with that. No problems with that explanation whatsoever. But that said, one of the things that would seem to obviously be included would be using God’s name as a lighthearted cuss word. Sure the commandment isn’t just limited to that – but it seems to me that it certainly includes that.
Just a little something to think about. Next time you start off your sentence with “Oh my . . . ” just pay a little attention to how you might be going to finish that thought.