“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7
We all know the Ten Commandments. But how do you interpret this one?
I think many of us are taught that it just means we must be careful not to use the Name of God or Jesus Christ when we are swearing or talking casually. Of course we should be very conscious about how we use His Name in our daily speech and dialogue. We must respect the Highest Name by not misusing it. Totally agreed.
My Pastor was speaking one weekend about this commandment. He made me think of it in a totally different way. I already knew that this commandment held a deeper meaning as my parents had taught me that long ago. However, the way Pastor Steven explained it really resonated with me and changed my perspective forever. Here it goes….
When Moses asked God what His name was, He simply said, “I AM THAT I AM.”
God’s Name is “I AM” – which means He is everything and lacks nothing. When a couple gets married it is customary for the wife to take the name of the husband. As the church we are the Bride of Christ, and therefore we bear his name.
I have always understood that because we represent Christ, we must act accordingly. However, Pastor Steven pointed out something much deeper than that.
Do you have a problem with calling yourself names? Bullying yourself? I have an issue with this, and I’m sure that some of you do too. When I fail at something, sometimes I mutter to myself, “You’re an idiot,” or “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you pull it together? You still have this issue at this stage of life?” Or… “Why are you so stupid?” I put myself down for not being in the best shape I can be in, and for my inconsistencies.
And on and on… you get the picture.
Pastor pointed out this great truth:
If I have taken the Name of Christ as mine, and I call myself by names that He is not, then I am taking His name in vain. Simple.
His Name is “I AM.” So…. If I say to myself, “I am an idiot,” then I am saying something about myself that is not true. That is, I am saying something about myself that God Himself says I am not.
If I say, “I am insufficient,” but God says of Himself, “I AM sufficient,” and I have taken His name – then I am saying something that is offensive to Him. I am misrepresenting Him and what He has done for me by covering me with His name. I AM TAKING HIS NAME IN VAIN.
WHOA. This weighed heavily on my heart. For the past couple of weeks it has become clear to me just how often I put myself down. Sometimes I say something out loud, but just the things I say to myself about myself inside my head about how I am not good enough or always fall short in some area are frequent. Way too frequent.
This voice of self-doubt. This voice direct from the enemy of my soul. This ungodly voice meant to distract me from representing my God the way I was intended to. This self-insulting habit that holds me back from striving toward my potential.
So now what?
Bullying oneself is a habit. Therefore it has to be broken by adopting a new habit in it’s place. I have not yet broken it, but I am working on it. Awareness is the key to starting a new way of thinking. Here is what I am doing.
Some people call these affirmations. Affirmations are great, but they are a bit ego-centric. Perhaps realizing that my name is literally joined with God’s name will make the difference. I am believing it will.
I AM sufficient. (Because God is sufficient and lives in me)
I AM capable. (With God’s help because with Him all things are possible)
I AM beautiful. (Because He made me in His image and He is without imperfection)
What does God say about you versus what you say about yourself? Will you join me in breaking this habit of self-bullying?
WE CAN DO THIS!