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Exodus 20 v 7. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who misuses his name.


This commandment was given to those who had experienced the miraculous deliverance from Egypt. When God gave the Hebrews these commandments, it was part of the condition of the covenant He entered into with them. As His people they were required to live in a certain manner. There are several ways in which we misuse His name.


1. When we speak irreverently or lightly about him in our day to day conversation, we misuse his great and holy name. He is not a created being like we are. He is higher than our highest thoughts about him. Deuteronomy 28 v 58 tells us we are to revere this glorious and awesome name – the Lord your God.


His name is not to be a swear word, nor used as an exclamation. Every person who says “O my God!” as a figure of speech has been heard by God who requires an accounting of this statement.


2. We misuse his name when we do not live up to our Christian profession. Remember the words of Paul in Titus 1 v 16. “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him” If we claim to be Christians we must live as Christians. Our lives should somehow reflect the goodness of the one we say we worship. Although we all know we cannot be perfect, we should nevertheless still strive to be as good as possible so that our lives in a general way reflect and commend our Saviour to others. It should never be said of us, as it says in Romans 2 v 24, of others, “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentles because of you.” We must not be guilty of putting people off the Christian faith because we are hypocrites. One only needs to read through Matthew chapter 23 to hear the words of denunciation of hypocrisy from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ.


3. This in turn means that we need to be careful of the way we live at home. Your home may not be a Christian home, which means that you need to watch yourself so that your testimony remains unblemished. Or you may be fortunate enough to have a Christian family, which in turn means more care than usual to reflect Christ in all of life, especially if you have small children growing up in your home and watching you.


Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me grace to maintain my personal testimony before others. Help me to live with Christian dignity and consistency and so to glorify your name. Amen.