Do you know what the worst curse word is? It is saying God’s name in vain. In our culture people take it lightly and most don’t even consider it a curse word at all. It doesn’t sound as bad as the F word or other ones, does it? Actually, saying God’s name in vain is worse than saying the F word.
The hidden secret of Satan is to trick people into developing sinful habits, and then those habits are that much harder to break. Yes, it is not easy to turn away 100% and literally never say God’s name in vain, but that’s what you have to do if you want God to listen to your prayers.
You don’t think it’s possible? Well I never ever say God’s name in vain, so I know for a fact it is possible. I’m not bragging, I am showing by example that I never ever say God’s name in vain, so it’s possible for you to do too. I am not better than you. If I can do it, you can do it.
“But,” you may say to yourself, “it’s not that bad though, in the big scheme of things, is it?” Actually it is. Saying God’s name in vain can block your prayers. How? Think about it.
Pushing God to Anger
The 3rd commandment of the 10 Commandments is to not say God’s name in vain. This is one of the most important commandments, and is listed even before murder. Why? God is likely quite irritated by people who use His name as a curse word, or simply in everyday speech without talking to God. It’s a similar type of thing to idolatry. Idolatry is where you place your faith in something that is not God and pray to it for help. This is the second commandment, “no graven images”.
Saying God’s name in vain is similar, because you are calling on God but you are not really calling on God, that’s why it’s “in vain”. The only times you should use God’s name are in two scenarios: when talking about God, or when talking directly to God. Saying that God did something good for you, or positively talking about God to someone, you are talking about God. Prayer is talking directly to God. Anything else is wicked and a grave sin. It is angering to God.
Have you ever been in a room with someone with the same name? Have you ever heard someone call their name, and thought they were talking to you? The first time it happened, you probably spun around and thought they were talking to you. If you were in a classroom with another person with the same name, it surely caused quite a bit of confusion every single time your name was called, and neither of you know which one they were talking to.
Now imagine a God who is listening to billions of people 24/7 to hear if anyone is praying to Him. And now imagine God hearing his name over and over and over again, only to go down and see that this person is not calling on God, but using God’s name as a curse word. Can you imagine how angry God would be?
If you use God’s name in vain, that is, saying God’s name without meaning to actually talk to God, especially as a curse word, like “Oh my ***”, God may simply stop listening to you. He has other people who respect His Holy Name, and God may go and listen to them instead, and stop listening to you. Therefore God may ignore your prayers if you don’t respect His Name in your everyday speech.
Unconfessed Sin Can Block Prayers
Additionally, saying God’s name in vain will block your prayers because it is unconfessed sin. This is a sin, and a very serious one, being the third commandment. If you go to God in prayer and you have unconfessed sins that you have not repented of, then your prayers may not be answered. So many people today are so flippant about using God’s name that they might not even realize they are doing it because they developed such a strong habit.
But how can you stop? The same way you can stop cursing. You retrain your mind in situations to say different things. “Oh my!” is a good one. “Whoa!” and “Wow!” are others. It may sound weird to you, but you’ll get used to it if you care about God and want the ability for your prayers to be answered.
The words you use must have no connection to God’s name or anything or anyone related to God, such as God’s Son. And why need the expression at all? Often when people say God’s name in vain, there is not even any good reason for it, people just use it in everyday speech, which is wicked.
Protect your mind from hearing God’s name in vain
You also need to cut out people who repeatedly say God’s name in vain from talking to you. Don’t talk to such wicked people unless it is evangelism. Why would you? Surround yourself with people who respect God, not with people who have no problem disrespecting their Creator.
And also, when you do hear it, because it’s almost inevitable that you will hear it in everyday speech from someone, or on TV, or just walking around a store, that every single time you hear it, you repeat the same situation, even out loud if you have to, without the word. This way it does not sink into your mind. If you hear someone say “Oh my ***”, then repeat in your mind, “Oh my goodness” or “Oh my” or your favorite thing to say that is not cursing and not God’s name in vain. You use the same strategy when you hear curse words to stop cursing.
Similar words that are still saying God’s name in vain
Also, do not use pseudo-names that are still saying God’s name in vain. “jeez” (shortened version of Jesus’ name), “blimey” (British, derived from “*** blind me” which later was shortened to “Gor blimey”, and later to just “blimey”), and it might not be a stretch to also avoid “gosh”, which is just a twisted version of God’s name.
In the olden days a lot of innocent-sounding words were invented actually as twisted versions of God’s name or Jesus’ name, but is still means the same thing – God’s name in vain. After all, God’s name and Jesus’ name were not really “God” or “Jesus” originally. God’s name was “YHWH” in Hebrew, and Jesus’ name was “Yehoshua” in Hebrew. The exact word doesn’t matter as much as the intention. God knows you are using His name in vain.
Do you really want to take the chance that your prayers are not answered just because you think it sounds harmless? Only God’s opinion matters, and God made it clear that He hates having His name used in vain. He hates it so much that God carved out the third commandment with His own hand into stone. To top that off, he listed it before murder. The ten commandments are clear: never, ever say God’s name in vain. If you do, God might not answer your prayers.