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Do You Take the Lord’s Name in Vain?

Ironically, we really cannot use God’s name in vain. See why in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.

Today I am returning to the Ten Commitments. This is the perspective of Neale Donald Walsch in his channeled book, "Conversations with God". He says, there are no such things as the Ten Commandments. The Word of God was a covenant, not a commandment. It’s ironic to think that God would command that to which He gave free will. It’s also ironic that we really cannot use God’s name in vain, as Neale explains. From his book…

So God talked with Moses directly and said, “You will know that you are on the path back to the experience of your own Divinity—which is the path back to God—because there are certain things that you will do and not do as a result of being on that path. So, God said, look for these signs that I promise I will give you. This is my covenant. This is my commitment.”

You shall know that you have taken the path to God, and you shall know that you have found God, for there will be these signs, these indications, these changes in you. I promise you, you will see these signs. These are my Ten Commitments…

And, you shall know you have taken the path to God because:

2. You shall not use the name of God in vain. Nor will you call upon Me for frivolous things. You will understand the power of words, and of thoughts, and you would not think of invoking the name of God in an unGodly manner. You shall not use My name in vain because you cannot. For My name—the Great “I Am”—is never used in vain (that is, without result), nor can it ever be. And when you have found God, you shall know this.

We traditionally think of “taking the Lord’s name in vain” to mean swearing or cursing. For example, to say, “God damn you!”, would be considered a curse. Often the Lord’s name is used as an expletive (an exclamation or swearword; an oath or a sound expressing an emotional reaction rather than any particular meaning.

When we realize that calling on God actually works—God is here, He listens, He hears, He responds—then we will naturally not do so frivolously. We will shy away from saying something so powerful when we don’t want that power.

For there is great power in words. The ancients understood this, well before the time of Jesus. Recall that God “spoke” the universe into existence. “Let there be light,” and there was light. Recall also that St. John tells us the “Word was with God,” even then, and that, “The Word was God.” That’s pretty powerful, regardless of how you interpret that phrase.

Our own words echo that power of God and call it forth in our own lives. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21, New King James Version). We know this. We use words in prayers, affirmations, and mantras. We post inspiring words of wisdom on our refrigerator doors. All of us have felt the withering wind of harsh words spoken in anger and the uplifting and transcendent words of a great sermon or speech. Words have ended wars, and started them; ended marriages, and started them; ended careers, and started them. “I will.” “I promise.” “I believe.” These are all words of power. Use them wisely.

The same is true of “God help me.” Use these words wisely also—never in anger, always for a holy endeavor. And know that you are calling on your oneness with God when you declare his name with yours in, “I am…” Choose wisely what follows the verb. Make sure you are claiming an attribute of God, as is your birthright as a child of God. “I am loving.” “I am peaceful.” “I am a channel of blessings.” All these are statements of Truth. They use the power of words to bring life, as Proverbs would say. They use God’s name rightly. To use God’s name (I am) otherwise is to attempt to use it in vain, that is, without result. But it is never used without result. It is powerful. It has the power to create and to destroy; to bless and to curse; to bring God, and to push Him away.

This power is in your hands—in your words. You will know you are on the path to God if you use this power carefully, for it cannot be used in vain.

God Bless You!

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