The Third Commandment

The Third Commandment tells us not to take the Lord’s name in vain.

People can dishonor God by their actions—doing something in the name of God with wrong motives.  But I believe this commandment is speaking specifically to the way we use God’s name. We are not to use the word God, Jesus, Christ or Lord without thinking— in a careless or irreverent way.

We frequently hear people say OMG—even some really nice people!  Yet this commandment must be very important to God if He placed it No. 3 on His list!  It’s even above murder!

Get this—It’s the only commandment with a warning:  “The Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.”  This is serious.

Someday we will stand before God.  I don’t think anyone will get away with explaining, “Everyone else was saying it!  I didn’t know it was that important!”   Or, “It just came out of my mouth!  I didn’t even think about it!”   No.  They will be guilty!

Often the inmates in my Bible study would have this habit.  Once they surrendered their lives to Christ they’d want to change, but it was difficult.  The Bible says to, “Let your ‘Yes be Yes’ and your ‘No be No.’”

So I would suggest they prepare in advance, what they want to say, the next time they’re angry or frustrated.  Then I would suggest they practice!

Those practice sessions were humorous!  In the end they’d usually settle on acceptable expressions such as, “No!  Oh dear!  Shoot!  Dang! Darn!”

  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,  for the Lord will not   hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.    Exodus 20:7
  • All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.    Matthew 5:37
  • Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.    Ephesians 5:4
  • Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.    James 1:26
  • SONG: SEVEN TIMES A DAYWords from Psalms 119 & 2 Thess. 3:6; Music by Kathleen 


[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:  and

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About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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6 Responses to The Third Commandment

  1. Linda S says:

    Amen, and amen, sister! I have been quilty of it now and then, too. It’s something I grew up hearing at home, and it is difficult of overcome. My latest substitute is , O Man! because it is from the natural man that these things sometimes spring from, too. Just a thought.

  2. Matthew says:

    We need to watch we don’t slip into bad habits regarding this.

    • Kathleen says:

      I agree, Matthew! But if we do, it can be handled by a quick confession to God and then asking Him to help you become more aware next time. It might also help to practice in advance, what you want to say when angry or frustrated.

  3. Frank King says:

    Kathleen, these days people tend to be so casual with the name of God and His Son. This is a reflection of how far we have drifted. Not only the person of God of Jesus but also their very names are worthy of the utmost reverence.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Indeed. We have definitely drifted and continue to do so. Another sign of the times. Hopefully our Lord will soon return.

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