What God Wrote in Stone Day 3 – Watch Your Language
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. (Exodus 20:7, ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37, ESV)
In a world where it may be hard to distinguish us as believers at times, our language is a great opportunity for reflecting Christ. It may be the norm to hear excessive swearing in the workplace, on the big screen, at school or anywhere in public, but how refreshing it is to hear someone who doesn’t use that kind of language. While it’s weird how some letters can be strewn together in a certain way and be labeled “bad,” it’s a fact of life, right? Bad words exist and the use (or nonuse) of them does reflect on our testimony.
But when we look at Scripture, particularly the Ten Commandments, we can clearly see how God feels about speaking His name in vain (or out of context). Had we lived in the days of the Law, using His name out of context had serious consequences—God would not hold the person guiltless. The punishment for “blaspheming the Name” was death by stoning! (see Leviticus 24:10-16).
Considering the serious consequences under the Law of speaking this way, how should that impact us as we see its infiltration into what we watch or listen to or in music we play? What about in the speech of a coworker or even a family member or friend? Do we sit back and figure that it’s no big deal as long as we aren’t using it in our own speech?
It’s important how we respond to those who do use this language who are not believers themselves. We don’t want to be unkind in our response to them or threaten them in any way, but by our own speech they should understand that we are different and see something in us that may present an opportunity for discussion.
Unfortunately, even some believers use this kind of language, dismissing it as just being part of today’s culture or “just the way they are.” While we may be surrounded by this type of language, making it easier to pick up this bad habit ourselves, we must consider what God has to say about it and how it greatly dishonors Him. When we couple that with the fact that it was punishable by death under the Law, we can hardly excuse ourselves for adopting this type of speech. Practicing it is inexcusable, and God prohibits it.
In a world where God’s name is spoken in such a negative way, may we challenge ourselves to speak highly of Him. May we be the voice that exalts His name and treats it with respect and honor. To think that the very voices He created with love and care would speak of Him profanely is sad and should hurt our hearts. If someone spoke of our children or our spouse in this way, we would be enraged. How much more should we hurt when we hear the careless use of profanity surrounding the name of our Creator and Savior!
Moving forward, I pray that each of us would be more sensitive to this type of language, even though you may regularly hear it in your workplace. Try to purge yourself of it in areas that are left to your own personal choice. Refuse to engage in using this language yourself. Remember how serious God finds this type of behavior; it harms your testimony, brings dishonor to our Heavenly Father, and places judgment on us. May our speech be uplifting and encouraging — words that reflect the Spirit within us.