By Edwin Christiaan

Does this sound familiar to you? – hearing people misusing God’s name in their cursing and swearing:  “Oh, my God;” “Jesus Christ;” “Holy God;” “God forbid me;” “God d..n;” “For Christ’s sake;” “For God’s sake;” “Holy mother of God;” – just to name a few.

Even believers are often tempted, or even have the habit of using God’s name lightheartedly or in vain. It is so common today that we do not realize how serious it really is. It is actually one of the commandments God has given that says we are not to misuse His name:

Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

Exodus 20:7 NLT

Do not use my name to swear a falsehood and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:12 NLT

God’s name is special because it carries His identity. Therefore, the way we use God’s name indicates how we feel and think about God, whether we respect or disrespect Him. When we have reverence for God, we will use His name appropriately, speaking in praise or worship language rather than swearing and cursing.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Ephesians 4:29 NLT

But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

Colossians 3:8 NLT

Even though we may not be perfect in controlling our tongues, the Holy Spirit will help us learn self-control, which will give us the power to be able to monitor and control what we say. In other words, before we speak, the Holy Spirit will remind us of God’s love and cause us not to react in a cursing or swearing manner.

People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

James 3:7-10 NLT

This is a good and helpful example of King David who asked God to approve of his words and thoughts, trusting that God would ultimately guide him in what to say and what to think:

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14-20:1 NLT

Copyright©2009 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan