Some time back I asked a friend of mine (very politely and in Christian love) not to say "gosh" around me. I talked to this person about euphemisms and in the end we agreed that a Christian shouldn't even want to come close to saying the Lord's name in vain. Now some of you are probably thinking, "whoa, you are being too legalistic; it's not using God's name in vain; because I don't mean it that way." You might be even thinking I've made a list, and I've checked it twice.
But the Bible is very clear. One of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:23 is self-control. Christians ought to have this temperance in abundance. Peter says to add self-control to our knowledge (2 Peter 1:5-8 NASB). Self-control is something Christ showed throughout His life and all the way to Calvary.
So, if we have self-control, we will speak carefully, because our words are a testimony of our hearts. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart� (Matthew 12:34 NASB).
But let us go one step further. The Lord says, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7 NASB). That is the first commandment about the Name of God. Do we really think that saying "gosh" or "God" is all the Lord meant when He gave that command with its dire warning?
When my mother married my dad, she took his name, Bohannon, and became part of his family. But what if she had done that, but refused to move in with him and had continued dating other men, and continued living as she had before their marriage? She would have taken his name in vain.
But we do that! And it is so clear in the Bible because we, as Christians, are the Bride of Christ! If we live (in word or deed) like we did before we were brought into God's family, then we take His name in vain. And God has promised that He will not let that go.
So let's encourage one another, in the small things as well as the great, for we don't want ever to be guilty of taking the Lord's name in vain.