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 NIV
It was a show we'd watched as a family many times. I thought we'd finally found something we could watch together and enjoy even though we have a wide range of ages and interests. Plus, I needed something we could enjoy together that didn't have violence, gratuitous sex, foul language or portrayals of immoral lifestyles or drug and alcohol habits. This television show was great family entertainment. Until I heard them repeat the Lord's name. Not nicely.
At first I thought it was just an isolated incident or maybe I had misunderstood. But it kept happening. I brushed it off, but I felt convicted. I had heard His name used so often in public and on TV that I had become almost immune to hearing the Lord's name used in vain. But when watching a TV show with our family it suddenly really, really bothered me when I kept hearing God's name misused and completely disrespected.
I wish I could say I immediately turned off the TV and vowed to never watch that show again. Or that I fired off an angry letter to the network explaining why they'd just lost some loyal viewers. No. No, I didn't do any of those courageous things.
I sat there and soaked in all those ugly words being said about my Lord. I did look at the children and I asked them how they felt about hearing the Lord's name used that way. I asked them what they thought about how the characters were speaking to one another. We discussed it and articulated what was happening, but there was no action. I'm still frustrated by that.
God's Word says the name of Jesus is above every name (Philippians 2:9). Because there is such power in His name we are not to use it irresponsibly or haphazardly. We are to honor and respect His name and say it with holiness and reverence.
It's so prevalent to hear people sully the name of our Lord and it hurts. What do we do? How do we honor Him while also confronting those who are disrespecting His beautiful name. I still haven't figured it out, but I try and keep a watch on my own tongue and remind those in our home to watch their words. We start there. Prayerfully seeking Him, we start there.
Because we hear the Lord's name used in vain so often in movies, on TV and in public it's easy to incorporate that into our vocabulary. So, how do we guard our tongues from using the Lord's name in vain when we hear it often? When I hit my shin on the dishwasher and need to holler something (we all have sinful moments like this!) I tend to default to "G" sounding words. My regulars are "Good Golly", Good Glory" and "Golly Gracious". I heard someone offer the suggestion that when tempted to curse or use the Lord's name in vain, they just start naming ice cream flavors.
Father God, I long to have Your name on my lips, but in a way that glorifies You. I want to honor You with what I say and I know I sometimes say "gosh" and it's so close to using Your name in vain. Please help me control my tongue so others will see You in me and that You will be honored by what I say. Amen.