This is a devotional I wrote for the weekly email for my company’s Christian Diversity Network Association, based on a topic I covered in a previous blog called Superstitianity. In the interest of padding my blog, I am posting a slightly modified version here:
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…” – Exodus 20:7
Some translations say “you shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,” and another valid translation might be to say “we should not lift the LORD’s name in vain.”
Most people tend to apply this verse to the very specific situation of essentially using God’s name as a curse word. Personally, I avoid using “God” and “Jesus” as exclamatory statements when I’m not actually talking about God, but I don’t think that’s the only way to apply the third of the Ten Commandments.
If I think about my own name and what it means to me, my hope is that people will treat it respectfully. A name isn’t just a label; it’s a representation of who I am. It’s my reputation, and my identity. If you’ve ever been the victim of slander, gossip or identity theft, or if you’ve ever done something that ruined your reputation, you know exactly how important a name is.
The word Christian means “like Christ.” As Christians, we are supposed to be “like Christ.” We are bearing God’s name wherever we go, and taking it with us.
The words that come from our mouths are important, but it fades in comparison to how we live our lives. First and foremost, we must make sure that when we call ourselves followers of God, it is being demonstrated in how we choose to live our lives. Whether by our words or by our actions, we should make sure we are lifting up God’s name at all times.
While we can be thankful that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), our response should always be to demonstrate our gratitude by wearing God’s name with honor and respect.
Imagine if your actions, attitudes, words, and decisions today were printed out on a piece of paper, with space at the bottom for someone to sign their approval. Would you feel comfortable putting God’s signature there?
Is there an area of your life that you don’t feel is demonstrating respect for God’s name?
Are my relationships and interactions with others reflective of my relationship with God?