7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
I had grown up hearing the second commandment repeatedly. I always thought that it meant to not use the name of God as a swear word. But I have learned that it involves far more than that. It includes every action we make and word we speak that is not Christ-like.
When we call ourselves “Christian”, we are taking God’s name upon ourselves. We are not only identifying ourselves with Him, but actually taking on His name, just as a woman takes on the name of her husband when she is married. We are ambassadors for God when we claim to be a Christian and others view us as being representations of Him.
The problem comes when we do not act like Christ. Obviously we are human and will never be perfect until we arrive in heaven. But we are called to try for perfection.
Ephesians 1:3-4New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. (emphasis added)
We should not make excuses for sin or view any waywardness as acceptable. When we fall we need to immediately repent and turn away from it. We need to be open about our mistakes and admit that they are wrong rather than excusing or ignoring them. Our goal and purpose should be holiness and perfection. Anything less is compromise which causes us to dishonor God with our lives. And that is taking His name in vain.
In John chapter 1 it talks about Jesus coming to His own and they did not receive Him. Back then, that referred to His family and the Hebrew nation. Now it refers to any who are connected with the church and have knowledge of the Gospel, but refuse to make Him the center of their lives by spending time in reading the Bible, praying and serving. And that qualifies as rejecting Him.
We need to take our faith, lifestyles, and God seriously. They demand respect and devotion. If we are not wholly devoted to God (which results in a devoted lifestyle) then we are two-faced Christians and our true god is ourselves. Jesus said that He hates “lukewarm faith” and that all those who are not wholly devoted He would vomit out. Don’t be that kind of Christian. Don’t compromise or live to serve yourself. Don’t be the reason those around you despise God. Above all, don’t give God a reason to spit you out. Be whole-hearted in your faith. Be like Christ.