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200 million dollars. Wouldn’t it be nice is someone paid you 200 million dollars? But wouldn’t it be a nightmare to be slapped with a fine amounting to 200 million dollars? The financial services firm Morgan Stanley recently announced they expect to pay a 200 million dollar fine levied by government regulators. What did they do wrong? Employees misused their personal computers and cell phones, bypassing the company’s record-keeping obligations.1
Then there’s the Tulsa school district. The Oklahoma governor wants to audit them over possible misuse of funds, violating state law prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory.2
Good things are often misused, like prescription medication. People don’t follow the dosing instructions or take it without a doctor’s order. The restrictions are in place to protect people. Misusing prescription meds can damage the body or cause death. You see, when things are misused, bad things usually happen.
The same is true with God’s name. The third commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.” Taking something in vain means to use it in a useless or empty way. This is far more than avoiding the use of God’s name as a curse. Maybe we’d understand it better with the New International Version. Exodus 20:7 says, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
Today, honor God with the proper use of his name.
- Sridhar Natarajan and Katherine Doherty, “Morgan Stanley Misuse of Personal Devices Costs $200 Million,” Bloomberg, July 14, 2022, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/morgan-stanley-misuse-personal-devices-115749483.html
- Jeremiah Poff, “Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt demands audit of Tulsa schools for potential misuse of funds,” Washington Examiner, July 07, 2022, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/education/ok-gov-kevin-stitt-audit-tulsa-schools-misuse-funds
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.