Bible reference – Exodus 20:7
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.KJV
Universal Truth: Choose your words carefully. Do not be a slave to your emotions. You are responsible for what your do (but not necessarily what you think).
In my life, taking the Lord’s name in vain has always been equated with cursing. When do we curse? Usually in emotional distress. Perhaps this commandment is pointing to being able to hold one’s tongue, even when all your thoughts and feelings bend to anger. You cannot be held guiltless when you have spoken, which leads me to believe that you are free to think all kinds of curses and terrible things as long as you do not act on them. Stay in control. Do not give in to your anger. That leads to the dark side.
This is the 3rd commandment. Is letting a few “Jesus!”-es slip out more important than not murdering people? However, extrapolating this to keep your emotions in check makes more sense. If you can control your words, you can control your behavior, which would make it a top 3 contender.
Even further, it implies that we are free to think what we want. We can explore dark thoughts, as long as we don’t act on them. This echoes one of my favorite aspects of Jesus Christ. Did he only hang out with the holy and (self-)righteous? Actually, he was well known to spend time with the lowest of the low: among them, tax collectors and prostitutes. This philosophy is epitomized in these verses:
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”Jesus Christ, Matthew 25:40, KJV
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”.Batman, Batman Begins