Nothing reveals what is, or is not, inside of us as the words we utter and the manner in which
we utter them.
James 3:2: ‘For we all trip up in many ways. Someone who does not trip up in speech has reached perfection and is able to keep the whole body on a tight rein.’ Of all the things we may say unwisely, God singled out one worthy of being number two of the Ten Commandments: ‘You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name.”
Because language is often driven by emotions – anger, excitement, disgust, disappointment – some may swear using ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ in a statement, question or exclamation. It might be a habit. The One we pray to is the same One we invoke in a curse or exclamation. ‘OMG’ and ‘I swear to God’ are universal exclamations among teenagers in social media as normal, acceptable communication. They are not; they are misuses of God’s name and we are accountable. What can we do to avert being tripped up? This list may help put God the Father and God the Son in their proper place in our language:
So others will revere His name, we reserve it for faith and prayer ONLY.
Children learn from us what is acceptable. Let us be accountable for what they hear us say.
When others misuse His name, share what He means to us.
Instead of OMG! Just write OM (Oh my!) Make an alternative exclamation your new habit. Why not simply, ‘Wow!’
Remember: Why continue to do the things that He suffered for on his cross? He will not be crucified a second time for those sins. They remain on our account. John 15:10 ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.’ (includes commandment #2)
The strongest deterrent to misusing His name is to love Him. The more we do, the more uncomfortable we are in uttering His sacred name for common matters. Knights of Columbus
are pledged that ‘out of our mouth will not come both blessing and cursing’ (James 3:10). Blessed be your holy name, Jesus!