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 ESV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 ESV
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 ESV
Romeo and Juliet were very much in love with each other, but they couldn’t get married because their families were enemies. Juliet wished that Romeo had a different name, and not the name that made him her family’s enemy. Juliet said, “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” Even if Romeo had a different name, he would still be the same person, she thought. But really, Romeo’s name was part of who he was. He couldn’t have changed his name without changing himself.
God’s name stands for who he is. His name is very important to him, and he wants it to be important to us, too. He doesn’t want us to misuse his name. People do this all the time. They use the names “God,” or “Lord,” or “Jesus,” or “Christ,” when they are angry, or making a joke, or want to convince people they are telling the truth. Doing these things is misusing God’s name, and it displeases him. We should always treat God’s name with respect.
Some people are very afraid of misusing God’s name, so they play it safe by never using it at all. But that’s not showing God’s name respect, either. God wants us to use his name. He loves to hear us talk to him in prayer, or to sing praises to him, or to thank him for all the wonderful blessings he gives us. Think how sad your mom or dad would be if you never called them, “Mom,” or “Dad,” (or “Mama” or “Papa” or whatever you call them!) Parents love to be called Mom and Dad by their kids, and God’s the same way. We can also use God’s name to tell others about him. When God came to us in Jesus, he went to the cross so that we could become his children. That’s the best reason to use God’s name with love and respect.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for us so that we could become God’s children. Help us to always use your name with respect. Amen.
Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene II