Using The Lord's Name In Vain

I am curious what it actually means to "use the Lord's name in vain". It is something my mother was very strong on teaching us, that if we so much as mentioned "Lord", "God", or "Jesus" outside of a religious context we would get a sharp telling off. So I learned just to do what mum says yet I never really understood what it really meant to use the Lord's name in vain.

I know there are bound to be a few different opinions on this and I am curious to hear a few and see if I can sort out a better understanding of what that commandment actually means.

You might wonder why it came up... I was discussing phrases, (I mean no offense to anyone by mentioning them but they are common phrases even amongst Christians of my acquaintance and I think it is best to know what I am talking about), such as"Thank God" after a narrowly missing something unpleasant, and "Good Lord" as an indication of surprise and confusion.

These are not phrases used in a swearing manner but neither are they said with great feeling or reverence. The latter is one I have fallen into the habit of using unconsciously. I am attempting to stop using it as a) mum objects, and b) better to not push the boundaries, however I am not sure if I feel there is much wrong with either of the two. I can't help the feeling that these sorts of things are not what is meant by the commandment.



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There are a few variations that I've heard over the years, but as I understand the original commandment I have to reflect on how the Israelites would have heard this commandment. Names were really important int he Old Testament. God's name was especially important and held a great deal of meaning. It was to be honored and treated with reverence. So to take God's name in vain would be whenever the use of His name would dishonor God or misrepresent Him.
IMO, Lord and God, are general terms and not specific names.

The pronunciation of Gods name has been lost because the Hebrews wouldn't speak His name out of reverence. Gods name written in the English alphabet is YHWH.

Now man has tried to discern how to say His name, and they, man, have come up with several pronunciations- Yehoveh, Yahway, Jehovah, etc.

So if you were to say god (and d***), it's not specific. You could be speaking about the god of this world, satan.

I wouldn't be too concerned about it because it sounds like your heart is in the right place, and YHWH ultimately knows your heart.
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