The third commandment

Exo 20:7 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.

I remember a few years back when my husband was working with the youth at our church. This particular Sunday some of the kids were talking about this new movie out and how everyone had seen it. They were planning on going to see it themselves that afternoon. When asked what they were going to see they timidly told me it was “A Man Apart”. I knew from reviews that this movie was rated R, so I asked the kids if they would consider waiting until I could go home and get the reviews before they would make their decision. They reluctantly agreed. Here is what the reviews said about the language in the film….“Nearly 100 f-words (10 or so used with “mother”; several used to denote sexual acts) are joined by about 20 s-words, 25 milder profanities and a half-dozen abuses of Jesus’ and God’s names” ( With all the other negative aspects in the movie as well I thanked the Lord that they decided not to watch the movie. I have often thought about the things that Christian people will listen to and watch on TV and it amazes me. I think about how when my husband and I were first married how we were desensitized to the filth in front of us. My heart breaks when I remember things that we allowed into our home through that one eyed god, our TV. Most people would never allow people who were fornicating, committing adultery, doing drugs or using vulgar language to come into their home, to sit with their family during dinner and be around their children. But that’s exactly what people do when watching most television programs. Now putting all of that aside, let’s go back to the language issue. We are told to put off filthy communication (Col. 3:8) and to let no corrupt communication proceed out of our mouth (Eph 4:29). Understanding that I ask myself what does God himself say? The third commandment found in Exodus 20 says “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain…” For years now we have agreed that in our home there would be no filthy TV. We do not have cable, satellite or local broadcasting. We watch videos. We can control what our family watches by doing this. We are limited to mostly watching rated G and PG movies. However, the other day as my children were watching one of their favorite movies one of the character said ,”O my God”. I looked up on the wall at the picture hanging in our living room that has the 10 commandments on it. My eyes were drawn to commandment number three. My heart was broken. We have become so deadened to the use of God’s name in vain that it no longer bothers us. We hear this, we watch this, people say it in their homes, at church, it‘s in the cartoons and in books. No one cares anymore. But I must believe that God does! The second part of the third commandment says “….the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” So what do we do? Do we continue to listen to God’s name taken in vain? Does this please the Lord? Do we throw away all our children’s videos that does this? Do we turn off the TV every time we hear our God’s name abused? Because if we listen to this talk it will go into our hearts and the Bible is clear that for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Mat 12:34). So this much I know, if we turned it off we would have more time to devote to reading and meditating upon God’s word. More time to give of ourselves in service to others. More time to minister, more time to cultivate relationships and lead others to Christ. More time to spend playing games with our family, training our children, teaching our boys and girls how to live for Christ. More time to spend in prayer. God help me if I ever again become desensitized to Your commandments!




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