“You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain”
– Exodus 20:7
The second commandment commands us to respect the name of the Lord God our Father because the holy name represents God Himself. A name held a very special importance and power. A “name” not only stands for a person. It also makes the person present and active. Saying God’s name means acknowledging God’s presence, the shekinah, God Himself since He is all holy, all loving and all good.
Using God’s name in vain originally meant using God’s name in sorcery, invoking curses on others, and conjuring up evil spirits or claiming the power of God’s name to do harm to others. As Filipino Christians, we avoid using God’s name in vain like the following.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
Profanity is the use of sacred words in impatience, jest, mere surprise or habit with no idea or intention of giving God honor. Examples of this are “Diyos ko po!”, “Oh my God!” and “Susmaryosep’ which literally means Hesus, Maria, Jose.
“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” – Matthew 12:31
Blasphemy is speaking of God or the saints with disrespect or contempt. Examples of this are “God damn it” and “For Christ’s sake.”
“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” – Luke 6:28
Cursing is calling down punishment on others.
“Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” – 1 John 3:7
False oaths is the usage of God’s name to confirm a false statement.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.'” – Matthew 5:33
Perjury is the willful giving of false testimony under oath.
© Phoenix Christian Life Education 6