What should our reaction as Christians be when people use the Lord’s name in vain? I often don’t expect it, so when I hear it, it surprises me and grates on my nerves. But I don’t know how to react. Do I tell those people that it bothers me? Do I say, “That’s my Lord”? Do I ask if they’d like me to use their name in that way? What if they say no?
I don’t feel like I should just do nothing, but I don’t know how to react quickly, and by the time I think about a reaction, the conversation has moved along.
In other cases, regarding other words, someone may say, “Language.” Is that an acceptable response to this as well? My guess would be that no one would know what I was referring to when/if I said that.
How can I be a light without putting people off (in fact, should I be worried about putting people off when I’m standing up for my Lord?)? I’ve tried to answer, “Yes, He is good,” when people say, “Good Lord!” I think they often don’t realize what they are saying. But I want to do something. I want to be a light and share the truth when them. I don’t want to keep the truth and hope to myself!
It’s amazing to read about the transcribers of old, who had to perform a ritual prior to writing God’s name. If interrupted while writing, they would not react until they were done writing. What respect. And God deserves it all!
John MacArthur has said the following:
To fail to perform an oath in which His name had been legitimately uttered was to call
into question His existence, since the guilty party evidently had no further thought of the God whose name he had used to improve his integrity. … To use God’s name is such a way as to bring disrepute upon His character or deeds was to irreverently misuse His name. … For the believer…, the use of the name of God is not a needed verification of his intention and trustworthiness since his life is to exhibit truth on all occasions, with his “yes” meaning “yes” and his “no” meaning “no.”
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.While this addresses my words as a believer, it also brings in those hearing my words. Therefore, I can’t just not say anything, but I must say something to spread the gospel—to exhibit God’s love, mercy, wrath, and grace for the hearers.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.John MacArthur has also said this:
Foul language of any sort should never pass a Christian’s lips, because it is totally out of character with his new life in Christ. … The Christian’s speech should be instructive, encouraging, uplifting, and suited for the moment.Proverbs 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Proverbs 24:26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
(These are just a few references to words and their importance that can be found in Proverbs; it is full of admonitions regarding speech!)