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10 Ways You Might be Breaking the 3rd Commandment

Exodus 20:7 “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. It’s the 3rd commandment and most people think it’s a prohibition of uttering the Lord’s name in a careless way.  We should use the Lord’s name thoughtfully and respectfully, however I believe the 3rd commandment is far more significant that most of us realize. You see to take the Lord’s name means to become His follower, to call Him your God and worship Him alone.  Today we can do the same thing by calling ourselves “christians”. I don’t tell people I am a christian because I think the name sounds nice!  When I call myself a christian I stamp the name of God on my forehead and become a “bearer” of God’s name.  I am not just a follower of Christ I am a representative of Christ.

Here is what the 3rd commandment is really all about: God wants all who say they worship him to act like they worship him!  God hates pretenders!

The facts on pretenders:

  • Their lives never completely match their talk
  • Any good they obtain from pretending is short lived
  • Eventually, they will stop pretending
  • They are internally conflicted and often struggle with anger, guilt, depression, discontentment
  • Some of the best pretenders are children from religious families

I should know about the last fact, I grew up in a Christian home.  When you grow up in the church it is very easy to talk the talk, say all the right words, and do all the right things when people are watching.  People might even look at you and say, “wow, what an example!” Jesus Himself points out the problem of pretenders when he confronts the Pharisees and describes them as “white washed tombs”!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  Mathew 23:27-28

10 ways you might be breaking the 3rd commandment

1.      Claim God is good yet…

  • You complain about
    • your spouse
    • your children
    • your income
    • the government
    • your job
    • your co-workers
    • etc…

2.     Claim God is in control yet…

  • You tend to worry and fret about everyday things
  • You are overprotective of your children or your health
  • You are constantly wondering “what if?” and waiting for something bad to happen

3.     Claim God is merciful and patient yet…

  • You can’t stand it when people around you don’t do things properly
  • You easily lose patience with your spouse or children for insignificant things
  • You chew people out for mistakes that cause you inconvenience

4.     Claim God’s word is true yet…

  • Rarely read it and seldom if never seriously study it
  • You would rather watch TV, listen to the radio or read the latest magazine then open a Bible

5.     Claim God is just and true yet…

  • You are willing to be dishonest if it will save you a little money
  • You overlook your own faults while condemning others
  • You show favoritism among your friends or between your children

6.     Claim God is holy yet…

  • The movies, music and entertainment you choose don’t reflect God’s character
  • The only difference between you and an unbeliever is that you go to church on most Sundays

7.      Claim God is powerful and able to save yet…

  • Very few unbelieving friends even know you are a Christian
  • You are afraid to share your faith with your neighbors
  • When given the opportunity to tell someone about Christ you end up changing the subject because you feel like you’re not ready yet.

8.     Claim God is forgiving yet…

  • Harbor grudges
  • Cut off relationships with those who have hurt you
  • Look for ways to get revenge on someone who humiliated you

9.     Claim God answers prayers yet…

  • Spend only a few minutes a day in prayer
  • Don’t really expect God to do anything
  • Only seriously start praying as a last resort when something really bad happens

10. Claim God is love yet…

  • Have a hard time loving those closest to you
  • Go out of your way to avoid showing love to strangers, the poor, unclean, rejects of society
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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children!

My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Thanks for the meditation and application on the 3rd Commandment. Do you mind if I translate it into Portuguese?
    Keep up the great work.

    • You’re welcome Jerry! I’d be honored if you translated it into Portuguese, I originally wrote that in Russian so that would be the 3rd languange!