Who Said It's Just a Cuss Word?

we can violate the Third Commandment even if we never cuss. This 1-minute devotion gives examples of other vain uses of God's name.

It sounds simple enough… “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.”

But we can violate the Third Commandment even if we never cuss.
  • We can pray in God’s name without faith.
  • Attend church but give more honor to the sermon and music than the Lord.
  • Put a Christian bumper sticker on our car and drive like a maniac.
  • Wear a Jesus t-shirt but harbor bitterness in our heart beneath that t-shirt.
  • Ask the Lord to bless our meal and eat like a glutton.
  • Promise to pray for a friend but never do it.
  • Use a church meeting as an excuse not to help someone.
All of these things and others like them are vain uses of God's name.
Psalm 138:2 says, "for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”

God has been so good to us....let's do our best to honor His Name in word and deed.

You might also like reading this 1-minute devotion called "The F-Word and Ephesians 4:29"

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We can violate the Third Commandment even if we never cuss. This 1-minute devotion gives examples of other vain uses of God's name.

we can violate the Third Commandment even if we never cuss. This 1-minute devotion gives examples of other vain uses of God's name. #BibleLoveNotes #10Commandments #Bible


  1. Yep, often we do not even realize this!

    1. Just came across this on pinterest and I didn't realize it. But it makes sense.

  2. So true. I think most people don't get the meaning of that verse. They do think it is only about saying a curse word. You explained this wonderfully.

  3. I was a Christian for a long time before I really understood the scope of the third commandment. Thank you for this love note.

  4. Sing and not realize the words can apply to us.
    Say amen and not listen to the prayer.

  5. Wow, great thoughts! I never considered these things as taking the Lord’s name in vain, but yeah, you have great points!

  6. Never thought of these as breaking the 3rd commandment but have you considered how we are breaking the 4th by worshipping on Sunday the 1st day of the week instead of Saturday the 7th as in the commandment?

    1. Hi Welsh Lady,
      Yes, I have studied that issue.

      If it’s important to you to worship on a particular day of the week, then you should follow your conscience, but it is not a New Testament law.

      1. There is no Sabbath command in the New Testament.

      Each of the 10 Commandments is re-commanded in the New Testament, but not the Fourth Commandment.

      2. Every day is a Sabbath to the Christian.

      Hebrews 4 addresses our Sabbath – our day of rest.
      This passage refers to the institution of the Sabbath in Creation. And it says that Christians have entered God’s rest. That means for the Christian, every day is the Sabbath.

      3. Christians are commanded to meet together, but no particular day is commanded.
      Hebrews 10:25

      4. The observation of a particular day does not make a Christian more holy or less holy. It’s not a moral issue.

      Galatians 4:9-10: now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that my efforts for you may have been in vain.

      5. We must follow our conscience regarding the Sabbath, but we must not condemn our brother for holding a different view:

      Colossians 2:16: So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.

      Romans 14:5: One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

    2. Gail you can't pick and choose the commandments that YOU think are binding, i.e.the 3rd Commandment. Are there 9 Commandments? Colossians 2 in CONTEXT Paul is speaking of the FEAST DAYS. In Romans 14, the whole chapter is based on judging, not doing away with the law. On one hand you say that the law is binding 3rd Commandment, on the other you say that the 4th isn't. Which is it?

    3. Hi Maris,
      If you believe all Old Testament laws apply to you, then you must be obeying this one, and hundreds of others found in the Old Testament, and if you are not obeying them, then you are picking and choosing which apply:

      Leviticua 15:19-23: “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening.
      20 Anything on which the woman lies or sits during the time of her period will be unclean.
      21 If any of you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.
      22 If you touch any object she has sat on, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.
      23 This includes her bed or any other object she has sat on; you will be unclean until evening if you touch it.
      24 If a man has sexual intercourse with her and her blood touches him, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be unclean.
      25 “If a woman has a flow of blood for many days that is unrelated to her menstrual period, or if the blood continues beyond the normal period, she is ceremonially unclean. As during her menstrual period, the woman will be unclean as long as the discharge continues.
      26 Any bed she lies on and any object she sits on during that time will be unclean, just as during her normal menstrual period.
      27 If any of you touch these things, you will be ceremonially unclean. You must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.
      28 “When the woman’s bleeding stops, she must count off seven days. Then she will be ceremonially clean.
      29 On the eighth day she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present them to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
      30 The priest will offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. Through this process, the priest will purify her before the LORD for the ceremonial impurity caused by her bleeding.
      31 “This is how you will guard the people of Israel from ceremonial uncleanness. Otherwise they would die, for their impurity would defile my Tabernacle that stands among them.
      32 These are the instructions for dealing with anyone who has a bodily discharge—a man who is unclean because of an emission of semen
      33 or a woman during her menstrual period. It applies to any man or woman who has a bodily discharge, and to a man who has sexual intercourse with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.”

  7. Hi Gail thank you for your reply. Please allow me to respond. I think it's a mistake to believe that the commandments must have been re-commanded in the New Testament for them to be valid and that one of them could 'disappear'. Just because some of them were mentioned in the N.T doesn't mean they were being re-commanded. I believe the commandments were written in God's hand and given as they stood in Exodus 20 for ever as they were inscribed in rock. (After Jesus' death they were to be inscribed in our hearts as part of the New Covenant). The Sabbath was made a holy day at creation and, I believe, meant to be kept for ever as it was then inserted into the commandments. They were not given for the Jews as everybody needs a rest day not just the Jews. We have to take the verses you mention in Galatians, Romans and Colossians in context. I can't believe Paul would call the commandments weak and worthless so he must be talking about other festivals the Jews kept and we as gentiles don't have to. It not about condemning people I'm trying to get them to think about this one particular commandment that seems to have been forgotten (God started it Remember) since 321 when Constantine ordered the shops to shut on Sundays and the Catholics made Sunday a holy day. In fact the church I was attending before I was convicted to keep Saturday went through one of the commandments every week and read the 4th one out which said to keep the 7th day and yet they were in church on the 1st day without any explanation. Nobody except me saw it as contradictory! When I spoke to Pastor afterwards he just said he hasn't got a problem with it. Not having a problem with trifling with God's commands! I really think this is a subject we have to take to the Holy Spirit and not rely on our own understanding as if we are wrong to keep Sunday we are sinning every week and so we are on very dangerous ground.

    1. Hi Welshlady,

      I think it's important for you to do as your conscience dictates, and I respect your desire to consider the Old Testament Sabbath your day of rest and worship. That Sabbath is specifically from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

      But you are violating both of the Scriptures I quoted above by calling it a sin to worship on another day of the week. The Holy Spirit does not tell us anything contrary to God's Word, so it is not a matter of Sunday-worshipers not listening to God's Spirit.

  8. I still beg to disagree. Of course it's a sin to break any of the commandments. If the Spirit thinks keeping the sabbath is contradictory to the bible why would he tell a proportion of the population to keep it? I think this issue is too important to ignore and think we would all benefit for prayerfully studying it further and not just accepting something that's been handed down from generation to generation since 321 A.D.

  9. In some countries, Monday is considered the first day of the week.

  10. Gail

    I concur with Welshlady. The seventh day of the week was put apart for a special holy purpose. It was commanded in the beginning as a part of God's perfect plan. There were indeed other feasts that God later instituted as a result of sin, and these WERE called SABBATHS. The reason why Paul used the word Sabbath IN THE CONTEXT OF TALKING ABOUT YEARLY FEASTS, was because they too were holy periods of rest put aside for a holy purpose-which in this case was to foreshadow the coming Messiah who, when He would end up coming, would do away with THE YEARLY FEAST DAYS WHICH GOD COMMANDED TO PROCLAIM THE COMING MESSIAH. God would never do away with the seal of His holy law. See Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17, Malachi 3:6 to show that God never changes. The only reason people today are saying that it doesn't matter is because we are now living in a post-roman Catholic dominated Protestant church age, a period in which we've decided to shed all elements of popery, except the ok one tenth or WHATS LEFT of that which we are commanded to give up-and in this case it's nothing but pure convenience, wherefore we hold onto the traditions of men, and REJECT the commandments and council of God!! "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: [28] Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."-Mark 2:27-28. These two verses in Mark speak of His UPHOLDING the WEEKLY SABBATH DAY OF REST, not of His disregard of it! "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"-Isaiah 5:20. That's like calling the finger or Spirit of God Beelzebub! "And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. [28] But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you."-Matthew 12:27-28. These people were given rest by Christ from the torment the devil was causing them. Jesus came to confirm everything that had been established from the beginning.

  11. You've made some very good points. Another example is staying silent when we hear others taking the Lord's Name in vain. "And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity." Leviticus 5:1. That's so hard to do, but otherwise we are guilty of the same sin!

    1. Hi Unknown,
      Leviticus 5:1 says: "If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible."

      This means: if you see a crime committed and you don't speak up and tell the authorities or you lie about it when you are questioned, then you are just as responsible for that crime.

      It has nothing to do with taking the Lord's name in vain. If you are in a restaurant and hear a stranger taking the Lord's name in vain at the next table, you aren't responsible to correct him. And you aren't responsible for his sin.

      There are some situations with friends and family where you should tell them that you are hurt by the words they use, but that is not true in every situation with every person. And if someone has told you that is the meaning of Leviticus 5:1, they are misusing that verse.