“Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name“
Our culture does all it can to convince each of us that words are just words, shifting the concept of a word from a binding contract and promise to a bending and twisting temporary reality that can be defined in the moment and later discarded just as easily. Only a few generations ago, a man’s word was his most prized possession, because it was linked to his integrity, his self worth, his commitment to truth, and his love of Christ. This embodied the scripture: “let your yes be yes and your no be no. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
In court proceedings, a witnesses words were taken extremely seriously. But even before a witness was allowed to tell what he or she thought or saw happen, a Bible was held for them to swear on, to God, that they were in fact only going to tell the truth – the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth… So help them God. The witness then spoke under the fear of God.
It is no longer this way. In fact, we expect people to lie and stretch the truth in their dealings with us. We listen to politicians, and vote for the one we like the most, because we do not really trust what they are saying they will do anyways. Courts have found people lying under oath, even the country’s leaders, and don’t really care. Instead of a simple handshake and word to bind a deal or a business transaction, a multi-page contract is used, with lawyers involved.
In Matthew 6:33-37, Jesus says: “you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, ‘You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.’ But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more that this is from the evil one.”
Taking the concept a step further, as Christian men, we are supposed to be ‘little Christ’s,’ which is what “Christian” means. As such, our words, our conduct, our actions or inactions portray the picture nonChristians get of Jesus. “Do not misuse the name of the Lord:” we use and possess the name of Christ as we live our Christian lives before believers and non believers alike. Do you use the name and label “Christian” for popularity, to justify your actions, or obtain favors? We are to be used of God to bring glory and honor to Him, not use His name to bring honor and glory to ourselves.
A word spoken in integrity is more valuable and trustworthy that any written contract. The end result of what you achieve, do, or say is never a justification for how you got there… The end never justifies the means.
How are your words used to either honor or dishonor God?
Do you need to change your heart attitude towards the name of God and it’s misuse?
Are you a man of integrity where your word is upheld?
Determine in your heart and soul to use the name of Christ honorably, and to become a Godly man of integrity.