Don’t Take the Lord’s Name in Vain



Growing up, I was to remember my last name and its legacy. I was to represent my family everywhere I went. My last name had been handed down to me as an inheritance. I was to honor it with my life. I was not to wear it in vain. When I read the Ten Commandments, I am reminded who my life and existence represents.

“Do not take the Lord’s name in vain (Deut. 5:11).”

Some translations use “Misuse” instead of “Vain”. This misuse has been understood as using God’s name as a swear word or in making an oath. I believe its understanding is similar to God’s Glory. In Romans Paul points out how God’s glory is revealed in us (8:18). Glory is his ownership, his name. His revealing is His Glory or his ownership.

When we give our lives to Christ (God), we cloth ourselves with Christ. We take God’s ownership, His name, onto ourselves. Our deeds then reveal God’s Glory or His ownership in our lives. We no longer live for ourselves, but for God and one another. When Deuteronomy tells us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, it means we are to represent God in a faithful manner. Our decisions and choices are no longer our own, but committed to God’s wisdom.

We choose to make choices that create life. We are not to live in a manner that brings shame or leads to death. This means every decision I make, the way I react and love others represents God in heaven. Every time I choose to love when it’s not deserved, I reveal God’s Glory here on earth.

This means today and everyday of my life is to reflect God’s Glory. This is not in the afterlife or securing my place in heaven. This is about choosing life today. It’s about choosing God’s wisdom in every decision I make, today and every day for the rest of my life. God promises that when I do that, I will have life. I faithfully live out God’s wisdom and am rewarded with life today and after death.

This is the Gospel, “Good News.”

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