If it weren’t for the commandment that gives everyone a permanent day off, I think this might be people’s favourite. After all, “Thou Shalt Not Take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” doesn’t seem too hard to do, does it? All you have to do is not say “Oh my god!” or use the name of Jesus as an expletive and you’re in the clear.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of what I’d consider to be more closely resembling what this commandment is talking about, though, and it’s coming from people who would NEVER say Jesus as an expletive.
How many times have you heard someone (perhaps yourself?) justifying a course of action that the _human_ wants to take by saying “it’s God’s Will” or “the Lord has called me to….” I am quite honestly amazed at how much time the Lord calls people to buy new houses or get new cars. Living in Nashville I run into a lot of writers and musicianss who claim that it’s God’s Will that they Use Their Gift To Glorify Him! and Gig Full-Time. They seem to miss the verses that talk about how it’s God’s will that a man provide for his family.
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV / 71 helpful votes
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
That’ll harsh your mellow, right there.
Being a woman I know a lot of people who claim it’s God’s Will that they be a stay at home mom. A lot of times–BUT NOT ALWAYS–this is more code for “my home life is familiar and comfortable and I don’t want to face the unfamiliar world of working outside the home.” Other times it’s code for “I often feel insecure around people who have careers with fancy titles, but if I can claim that I’m Empowered by God than that puts me on a more level playing field, or perhaps even sets me slightly above, in a position where I can look down on them instead of them looking down on me.” I also know a lot of people who claim God’s will that they work outside the home, and THAT can sometimes be code for “I am so sick of laundry if I have to do another load or drive another carpool I may knife the cat!”
In my own life I had to make my peace with the fact that it isn’t God’s will that I be a mother to biological children, nor is it God’s will that i be healed right now. And it took me quite a long time and a great many arguments to make that peace with my own vanity. Because that’s what these things are. Vain. We want what we want–the essence of vanity–and we use God’s name to make it look okay.
That is the very essence of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and that’s the commandment that we so often break.