Sunday, November 15, 2015

"omg"--taking God's name in vain

Why do people take the name of the Lord in vain? When I was a child, my mother used to rebuke me for saying God's name in any capacity other than referring to Him. This is interesting to me, because my mother never really claimed any religious belief other than that she believed in God. In fact, she always maintained that we, her children, were free to believe anything we wanted. She refused to interfere with or even influence our belief system. I remember being a small child and looking up at the blue sky, ( I think I was about 5 years old at the time), and I remember thinking, "There's SomeOne up there, and he knows all about me, and He made me, and He's watching me... I didn't know that He was called God. I just knew that He knew me. So it amazed me, years later, when my mother called me out for saying OMG when I wasn't referring to God. Why did this bother her so? I think that one of the reasons might be that back in my Mom's time, the ten commandments were taught in school. Yes, there was a time in American history when the ten commandments were taught and posted in public schools. Could it be that many young Christians today simply have never been taught that taking the Lord's name in vain is wrong? What does it mean to "take the name of the Lord" in vain? Well, the word "vain" actually means "empty". When someone uses God's name, but they aren't referring to God, then they are treating His name lightly, like something common. There is no meaning to it. They use "God" like an expression of delight, disgust, or shock. The original meaning becomes empty.