Category Archives: Commandments

The Third Commandment

tc-threeThe third of the Ten Commandments states: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name (NIV).”

Now, most Christians will tell you that simply means ‘Don’t curse.’ That is not the intent of the third commandment at all; its intent is much greater in scope.

Anyone who calls him or herself by the name of God represents Him on earth. Anyone who claims to represent God, anyone who takes His name, had better make every effort to live a life without blemish, because everything they do is a reflection of God to believers and non-believers alike. For those who claim Christ as their savior to represent His name with anything but the utmost reverence is, at best, disgraceful and, at worst, can also be a sin. The name of the Most High should always be borne with reverence.

This is an age where nothing is held in reverence anymore. The common and the profane have been elevated and brutish, cynical and sarcastic attitudes abound. Everything, every value, every hero and every institution are fair game for the lowest kind of attacks these days. It is shameful and it is dangerous to have a society wherein nothing is sacred—where nothing is sacred, nothing is stable. That is the world we live in.

As Christians we are called on to be the salt of the earth. Salt is that which preserves the world. In some  Christian circles, it has become commonplace to take the most powerful name under Heaven, Jesus the Christ, and lower it to whatever is selling at the time. Coke is the ‘Real Thing’ so Christ becomes the ‘Real Thing’. ‘Got Milk?’ has become ‘Got Jesus?’ To drag His name down to pop culture is a sign of disrespect. It is not one of reverence, it is a misuse of His name and it does inestimable damage to the image of God.

For those who make the name Christ and Christianity a laughing stock to the world by their behavior and their language there is a stern warning. Behaving in such a way as to reflect badly on the name of God serves as a stumbling block to many nonbelievers. Of those who are such stumbling blocks it is said that “it would be better if a mill stone were tied around their necks and they be tossed into the sea…” We are called to be a light to the world! In representing God…we should always be on our best behavior. We Christians should clean up our behavior and our language like true Ambassadors for Christ—not defile the name of God by using it irreverently. We should be setting the example for the world, not lowering the standards of our own behavior to fit into it.

“If the salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”