I had to pull over on the side of the road years ago to get this one.  This unfortunate church sign states:

“GOD’S LAST NAME IS NOT ‘DAMN'”

I do agree with “the entire congregation.”  That is not his last name.  And probably like this group, I am bothered when I hear people use God’s name in vain by cursing with it.  “GD” bothers me, but so does when I slip up and say, “Oh, my God” and I am not actually calling on him.  Is this sign the best way to combat what people or doing?  Not sure.

Does it bother you when you hear someone breaking the 3rd commandment: “Do not take the LORD God’s name in vain?”

That is one way to break that commandment, but did you know that there is another one that people use much more frequently?

“Vain” means empty, shallow, of no use.  Think about that when you use a vanity mirror and think what that is implying.  So cursing with God’s name is shallow, but the other way is just as serious.

We take God’s name in vain when we attach God’s name to our plans in order to spiritualize them.

“God told me to do this…I can’t help it, but God told me I don’t have to do this anymore…well, I know that it says that in the Bible and all, but God told me I didn’t have to because…”

His name has been made empty and shallow.  We make him the scapegoat for our poor or inconsistent decisions.

So, how do you guard against that if you feel like God is leading you with something (that has to line up with biblical teaching)?  I normally state, “I feel like God is leading me to…therefore, I have chosen to…”

I do hate when people curse with God’s name, but I also hate it when we use God’s name in frivilous, self-promoting ways.

He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!  -Psalm 111:9

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.