Dare to Stand…

Watch your wordsThis week, while subbing in a public high school, I sat and listened to two seniors exclaiming over a senior project. It was a slideshow of all the seniors, showing their lives throughout their school years—quite a project, and well done, I might add.

However, as I heard the Lord’s name over and over again, a phrase of exclamation with no thought to God, I prayed for wisdom.  We “just happened” to be in the same room; I wasn’t teaching them. Finally, I went to them, sat and looked at the project with them, exclaiming what a great job she had done.  Then I asked them if they realized how many times they had used that God-dishonoring phrase.  They sheepishly said, “No,” and then asked me how many times.  (As though I was counting!) I said that I didn’t know, but then read Exodus 20: 7 and briefly talked to them about it, hoping for an open door.  Amazingly or not so amazingly, the phone rang just at that time! Curse the god of this world!!!

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;

for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

I talked with them a little bit afterwards but didn’t sense an open door.

What would you have done? I don’t really know these girls. I’m thankful for the rapport that I have with the students, but it seems to be more and more difficult to speak to them about spiritual matters. So many thoughts went through my mind:

  1. Just leave it alone. They don’t even know you, and you don’t want to push them away from God.
  2. They’ll think you’re some sort of religious freak.
  3. Just pray for someone else to enter their lives and challenge them—someone they know.
  4. Coward!
  5. If you don’t tell them, who will?

The last argument won out, and here’s why:

At times, when I’m teaching piano lessons, a student will play something incorrectly.  It may be just a little thing and I’m tempted to overlook it; but this thought goes through my mind: How will they learn if you don’t tell them that it’s wrong?  Seems like a no-brainer.

How much more serious is taking the Lord’s name in vain! Not learning how a phrase of music should sound will not affect that student’s eternal soul, but vainly using God’s name will!  Take another look at the verse, especially the second line:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;

for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

GUILTY IN THE FACE OF GOD! That’s pretty serious.  Satan laughs as EVERYONE, even professing Christians, vainly spew forth this phrase or its abbreviation. (This is another of my pet peeves.  If I write PA on an envelope, everyone knows it stands for Pennsylvania.  It’s not weaker, not even a substitute—IT MEANS THE SAME AS ‘PENNSYLVANIA!’ So, isn’t the same true for THAT God-dishonoring phrase?)  Students are never corrected about this phrase.  They will be rebuked for the “four letter words,” but glibly using God’s name goes unchecked.  Even the teachers interject God’s name into their comments. It’s just another word, but is it? I think the little clue that is given for kids to remember the Commandment Number Three, is pretty effective.  Hold up three fingers, trace the ‘W’ you see, and remind yourself to WATCH YOUR WORDS!

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