February 27, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 10



Monte Holland

This is the tenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 09

 Today’s photograph features two signs on the back of a truck traveling a Pennsylvania road. They encourage people to “Start the week off right.” “Attend the church of your choice.” To view click on: (Photo by Carolyn C. Holland)

The Third Commandment: Exodus 20:7 7Do not misuse my name. [a] I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.

     It is a matter of respect.

     Name-calling is a common playground activity. I don’t know why, but we like to say bad things about people that are different than we are, or that we don’t like for some reason. We often like to say nasty things when somebody or something upsets us. For some reason we feel comfortable bringing God’s name into the fray. The third commandment makes it clear that since God is good, the name of God should not be associated with anything bad or any evil thoughts that we have. God is good, and God’s name should only be spoken when we are thinking good things about God or God’s Creation.

     The Apostle Paul speaks of the positive role of the tongue (Romans 14:11 CEV): “In the Scriptures God says, ‘I swear by my very life that everyone will kneel down and praise my name!’” The role of the tongue is very specific—to praise God in all that is said.

     God rightly demands that since God is purely good, any statement connecting God with evil is totally unacceptable. In the colloquial, “Using God’s name relating to evil things is ‘dissing’ God.” James writes (James 3:6 CEV): “The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself.”

     Has anyone said to you, “I didn’t mean anything by it” when they used swear words? This in itself is disturbing. Throwing around God words without thinking can be as bad as intentionally using them relating to evil things. GOD’S NAME IS SO SPECIAL THAT IT SHOULD ONLY BE USED WITH GREAT INTENTION AND FOR GOOD!

DO NOT TAKE THE LORD’S NAME IN VAIN. (The Third Commandment tells us to not make disrespectful statements about others or situations by bringing God’s name into it.)


Exercise 1. Violating this commandment is almost second nature for us. List the words you choose to use most often to violate this commandment.

Exercise 2. What message are you usually trying to get across with these swear words?

Exercise 3. Write down some creative ways to get the same message across without using these words.

Exercise 4. There are other words that are commonly used in a disrespectful manner. Why is using these words bordering on violating the Second Commandment? How is their use also demeaning to God? (Remember that God expects us to draw close to God and worship God in all we do.)

Continue on to the next lesson on A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: 11 by clicking on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 11


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Monte and I welcome any comments you might have on the Lenten posts. Use the COMMENT box below to respond. For details on the COMMENT CONTEST click on:



God’s form of communication? Lent Devotion #20






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