Growing up, I remember kids at school using the exclamation “Jesus Christ!” when frustrated by a task or other problems with life in general.
I used this catchy new phrase on my grandmother when she asked me to take out her garbage and was greeted with a healthy slap to the face. “Don’t you EVER take the Lord’s name!” It was a lesson that I remembered, even after the feeling returned to my face.
But as I grow older, the word “vain” doesn’t mean that necessarily. I would think the vanity would imply that I use His name for a purpose to make myself look better. For example:
Neighbor: That’s a nice TV you’ve got there.
Me: Yes, the Lord has blessed me with enough income to afford it.
Now, to me, that is taking the Lord’s name in vain. I am trying to show my piety by commenting on God when there is no reason. He wasn’t in the discussion; I just tried to show how holy I was by commenting on a stupid TV and invoking God in the discussion. To me, THAT is what is meant by the commandment.
Why has it evolved into using God as a swear word that we believe that it is “vanity” to do so?