I’ve been realizing lately how in how many ways I have been guilty of breaking the 2nd Commandment in my lifetime. For those of you keeping score at home that’s the one about “taking the Lords name in vain” or as more modern translations say misusing God’s name.
I have Taken the Lord’s name in Vain as an American by using God’s hatred of certain behaviors to condemn whole groups of people…instead of loving them as he commanded.
I have Taken the Lord’s name in Vain as a friend and neighbor by promising to “pray” for someone when a more honest retort would be, “I’m sorry you shared that disturbing bit of information, I’m far too self-absorbed to do a single thing to help you.”
I have taken the Lord’s name in Vain as a church attender by claiming to be a “Christian” when in truth I was much more a half-hearted adherent to my churches rules and regulations than an actual “Follower of Jesus”.
I have Taken the Lord’s name in Vain as a preacher by claiming to teach the “Word of God” when in fact I hadn’t heard anything from God in weeks…but since I was teaching the usual “Bible Trivia” that people expect from preachers, no one complained.
I have Taken the Lord’s name in Vain as a child of God by confessing sins “in the name of Jesus” that I had no intention of actually quitting…I just wanted to feel less guilty and more “righteous”.
…and yes, if you’re wondering, I have said those two little words you are undoubtedly thinking right now. Somehow I think that is perhaps the smallest way in which I have “misused the name of God”. …. I’m pretty sure God thinks so too.