In Vain – Identity and the Third Commandment

Posted on February 6, 2014 | 16 comments

Vanity, Auguste Toulmouche 1890

Vanity, Auguste Toulmouche 1890

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. – Exodus 20:7

The word vain has two primary uses: 1. having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth, and 2. producing no result; useless.

Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.

Identity is our sense of self, our significance, and how that is defined.

Using the name of the Lord God in vain involves putting our self above God. Swapping the created order. So that our false self will get what it wants.

Vain use involves falsely attributing things to God in an effort to get what is desired. Saying “God has called us together” or “God wants me to have this”. God does speak in very real ways to us, but we are not to use this reality as manipulation or as a way to contradict his stated word. Test the spirits, get discernment from your community of those in Christ before attributing something to God.

Vain use involves making promises sealed by the name of God. We do not know the number of our days, we have no control over the sun, moon, or stars, but making an oath is a way to feel in control and win affirmation. Simply let your yes be yes and your no mean no. Acknowledge your inability to control the future.

Vain us is saying false things about God. It is the opposite of honoring God, holding his name hallowed. Creating a false image of the One who loves us. (see No Images – Identity and the Second Commandment)

Vain use expemplifies trust in self rather than God. Instead of openness, listening, and obedience, using the Lord’s name in vain assumes the power to tell God what to do, what is best. It dismisses the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Vain use is handling the name casually. There is power in a name. In the end, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and tongue confess. Demons flee at the name. The Lord God’s name is compelling.

Vain use, inappropriate use, of the Lord’s name diminishes the God that we are supposed to be reflecting. Not making him powerless, but making him appear powerless. Bearing false witness to him.

Reflecting our self rather than God. A self created identity – a false identity apart from God.

That is identity misplaced. And it is evidenced by how we use his name.

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  1. wise words here
    thank you for new insights

  2. Very well put

  3. Very well said. Blessings!

  4. I really appreciate your insights. I have only been here about a month.

    I read the “about me” section, is your book in print?

    • Thanks for reading. My book is in progress. Hopefully, God will allow it to be printed.

  5. This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I found you at Evelyns Freedom Fridays. I hope to get to know your blog better. I am now following you via email, twitter and FB. Please let me invite you to come over and share at my hop today also. It’s Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party and we’d love to have you join us.

    Angel @ sewcraftyangel

    • Thanks for checking me out and subscribing. We are now friends on Twitter and I will check your blog out as well. Thanks!

  6. Good thoughts. Made me think and ask myself if I do any of those things. Praying for God to continue to lead you as you learn more and more through His Word.

  7. Thanks for linking up with Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  8. Words mean something – until recently, “A man’s bond was his word.” If we do not remain vigilant about less important words, soon the really important words lose their meaning – and the power contained in those meanings – like God’s name! Semantics has always interested in me, combining it with my faith makes me love it!

  9. Stopping by from Happy Kids, Inc: Blog Hop! Now following you via Bloglovin’

  10. Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

  11. What a wonderful take on the word vain. Your examples were interesting and caused me to think! Thank you for sharing with us at “Tell Me a Story.”

  12. Very true, very true. It’s so nice to be reminded about this. I think I need this daily!

    Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up with us at the Mommy Monday Blog Hop!

  13. Thank you for your words of wisdom! Very inspirational! Thanks for linking up on Worthwhile Wednesdays! ~Allie @

  14. Great perspective on Vain. Gets you thinking. Love that. Thanks for sharing on Whatever Wednesday on Thank You Honey! Hope to see you again this week!

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