You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Exodus 20:7).
The three letters in quotes above are letters we see in email, on facebook in “texts” and all over the internet. They are letters/words we hear in conversation. What do they stand for? They could stand for the words Oh my goodness, or Oh my gosh, but seriously, we all know what they stand for don’t we? When people use those letters on facebook they are saying; Oh my God!
People use God’s holy name in all sorts of “unholy” ways. It is used as an exclamation in response to many situations, both good and bad, and sometimes very bad. How can we truly love God and throw His holy name around so freely and matter-of-factually in our conversations?
He loves each and every one of us as if we were his only child. He gave his Son as a sin offering to die a horrible and painful death in our place. We are all sinners and don’t deserve anything from God, but our God is a loving and compassionate God. He couldn’t bear to see his people perish. Out of love for all people he sent Jesus to die in our place. Jesus suffered hell when he was forsaken by his father, but he conquered sin and Satan when he rose from death three days later. He promises that all who have faith in him will pass through this life and into a new life in heaven when we die.
This promise is a gift – a gift of God’s never ending grace. Do we thank him by taking his name in vain? I don’t think so. The next time you are tempted to use those letters on facebook or in person, stop and think about what you are saying. Our love for God should prompt us to use his name in ways that show our love for him and reflect his love for us. God is holy and we are sinners. How dare we use his
name as an expletive. Let’s use his name with the respect and love he deserves. Lets honor him with our lives and with our mouths.
We should fear and love God that we do not use his name to curse, swear, lie, or deceive, or use witchcraft, but call upon God’s name in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks. (Luther’s Catechism pg. 59)