"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain," Exodus 20:7.
We have all heard it, in fact, to be honest with ourselves, we have all probably done it: slandered our Lord by using His name in an unflattering, thoughtless, degrading or otherwise unsanctified manner. He is the Lord and worthy of all our praise and none of our lippy attitude. We bring great dishonor to our Lord when we are flippant with our attitude towards Him and it is a terrible witness. We must always be on our guard so that we do not slander our gracious, loving and all powerful Lord. If we wear a fish on our car, a cross around our neck or faithfully proclaim His love, we must not give cause to heathens to mock our Savior. Of this none of us are without sin and are all hypocrites in a sense. We are to season our words with grace, which will salt the company we are in and the conversation we are having. Grace needs to flow through our words and it will not return void as God promises when we speak His life giving word through the power of His spirit. This does not preclude truth speaking as grace makes no sense apart from truth. Jesus is grace and truth. If we think we are doing any good by promoting pious platitudes devoid of the truth of God we are delusional. We may sprinkle grace and be slandered because of it. We can speak the God loving truth in the most sincere and pleasant voice and get spat on. At least if we do it correctly. Our Lord knew something of this as the writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ endured the cross for us, despised the shame heaped upon Him and He now has His rightful place next to His Father. He was the personification of grace and was beaten beyond recognition. Can we expect better? We should not seek persecution and intentionally bring it upon ourselves but it should not cause us to be silent about God's greatness and love.
What really made me consider this was a situation I was in recently. I was in the presence of an unbeliever for many hours and I shared the gospel with him and he continually slandered our Lord at every occasion. I do not think it was even a concern to him and he did it whenever the tiniest inconvenience occurred. He did it before I shared the gospel and after. I know that I was not innocent myself. I'm an imperfect witness but I did my best to explain the gospel, creation, God's love and our depravity. Finally, exasperated and angry at his continual abuse of our Lord's name, I shouted the names of other religious figures(the one's in the title) and asked why can't they be slandered instead! I know my anger is never completely righteous but I do know that there is such a thing as righteous anger and I pray that the Lord can use my display to His glory. I have prayed for this gentleman also and I pray that he does learn to love and live the glorious gospel of Christ. Pray also for discernment of our anger, especially mine friends. God bless you all.