Tonight, a friend of mine left a comment on my MySpace page. I had to go check her profile to find out who it was, because her moniker identifies her only as "______'s Mommy" and her avatar is of her baby.
It falls into something that I've been thinking about ... she identifies herself by her daughter. Her identity is wrapped up in who her children are. Countless times growing up, my parents would remind me before I'd head out for a sleepover or to spend time at a friend's house, "Don't forget who's child you are." People will develop an opinion of my friend based on her daughter; my parents cautioned me to behave, because they knew that my behavior would be a reflection on them.
God refers to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Exodus 3:15) He willingly identifies Himself by His relationship with mankind. After Daniel was delivered out of the lions' den, the king admonished the people to serve the God of Daniel. (Daniel 6:26) Again, God was identified by his relationship with mankind.
We've all heard the commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain," and we all know that it's inappropriate for us to use the name of Jesus as an exclamation, or to use an variation on Jesus, God, or Christ lightly in our speech. We've been taught that since we were children. But I think the meaning of the text is deeper than that. When we're baptized, we put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27) The Bible also speaks of being baptized into adoption. We literally take the name of Christ in baptism, and have it applied to our lives, and it's as though we have been formally adopted, and our names changed. We're no longer our own, strangers and foreigners - we're Christ's, fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:19)
Considering this, when we take the name of the LORD upon us in baptism, and then go into the world and live as though there were no consequence, we're taking the LORD's name upon our lives in vain. We call ourselves Christians, and then don't live as though we were transformed or changed in any way at all. We embarrass God, and put Him to an open shame. When the world sees us, what do they learn about God?
What have I taught the world about God today?