“Don’t take the Lord’s Name in Vain” Exodus 20:7
Honor has become a lost art in our modern world. In the world of social media, one of the greatest pitfalls of our virtual world is the faceless, nameless criticism of people without fear of reprisal or consequence.
The filter is off and unfortunately, people have made the sacred common. It is not a generational issue, it is an entitlement issue. I see young, old, uptown, downtown, suburban, rural, urban, and everything in between become cavalier in their “comments” and expressions. Why? What has changed?
Social media has desensitized our “social” norms of civility and respect. I’m amazed at the cavalier comments we make to people through social media in the Name of OPINION & PERSONAL EXPRESSION or RELIGIOUS BANTER. Let me give you a BIG NEWS FLASH, BELIEVERS are no better or worse than the WORLD. We may not use four letter words, but our words are callous & cruel. In fact, I have seen people do all this in the Name of the LORD. Yet, as followers of Christ our behavior, attitude, and demeanor should always operate in honor or we take the Lord’s name in vain.
What does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? It’s more than irreverence or cursing, but to misrepresent the Lord in a selfish banter.
If we are to truly honor the Lord’s name, we must recognize that we are GOd’s ambassadors on the earth and to work diligently in serving the Lord and His name with Honor.
It’s much easier said than done. As a Pastor, there have been many of days, where I have been a poor ambassador of Christ and His Name. Yet, I thank God for the mercies of the Lord which bring me to a place of repentance.
I remember when I pastored in Arkansas and headed to a restaurant to get something to eat. The context of rural America is everyone knows everyone even if you don’t know everyone. I pulled into the restaurant and the girl behind the counter was a new hire under training and she was struggling to say the least. I was getting frustrated because the orders in front of me were taking forever and the pressure was building on her as she felt the body language shift from enjoyment to annoyance. When I came up to the register, the cashier said, “Pastor, that was an awesome message last Sunday!” I nodded my head and smiled with a sigh of relief. I was about to put my size 10s into my big mouth! I will never forget the tension between what I was feeling and who I was representing!
This simple analogy reminds me often of how I am to represent the kingdom by honor and through humility. It is vain to belief that are attitudes and actions will not have consequences! It is even more vain to express ourselves without understanding who we truly represent. Our reverence for His name will motivate our hearts to walk blamelessly. Our reverence for His name will discipline our heart to refrain from speaking what we are feeling.
During this season of preparation, I want to challenge all of us to move from a place of familiarity to a place of marvel. We hold each other with contempt when we treat each other less than who God has created us to be, the image of God. When we see that we are God’s creation, fearfully and wonderfully made, when we see the days as a gift from God, we will honor God and revere His name and His blessings by how we treat one another.
We can be offensive with the truth but gracious in our tone. We can be respectful and truthful. We can be God-fearing and life-giving by recognizing who we represent. It is the simple question, “What would Jesus do?” What would Jesus say? How would Jesus react? What would Jesus post? Let’s bring Honor back to the House of the Lord and REVERE HIS NAME.