Keep sacred what is sacred and pure what is pure.
In the recent months I’ve come to notice that no matter what language you speak or what you believe, just about everyone says the phrase “Oh My God”. It’s commonly an exclamation of disbelief or shock, or even excitement. Yet, there’s this parallel because the Bible says to never say the Lord’s name in vain. So why do we do it, even people who are believers or following Christ?
Back when I was younger I remember when my dad spent a lot more time training us children to be Christians, the one thing he always corrected my brother on was not saying “oh my God.” I followed suit and learned to not say it, partially because my dad told me not to, and I had some slight comprehension that it was a sin.
“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
So I, and like most of the population who desired to follow this rule, started to make sure I said things like “Oh My Goodness” and “Jeepers Creepers” not wanting to use the word God in a sentence that wasn’t prayer. As I got older, I became less surprised by other people using it all the time apart from a name and it bothered me less and less. As I came into my teen years I even started to throw it out of my mouth every once and a while, but I never really liked to say it.
As I came to college and started living my life more for Christ than I really ever had before, I began to really notice it’s over usage, the words “Oh my God”. It’s not like I was really offended, but more shocked by the fact that even the Korean students that came to ISU who didn’t speak much english said it, or the Ukrainian students who we visited in Ukraine said it, or the atheist down the street, or the Buddhist next door.
The point is… just about everyone says it.
I was caught off guard the other day a year ago when a friend of mine said it in my presence and quickly apologized. She acted as if she’d offended me, I wasn’t offended in the least and my thought process there was because she wasn’t held to the same standards as I.
A few weeks ago I caught myself off guard because God did something and I said “Thank goodness”. Maybe you’ve done the same.
After those words came out of my mouth I took some time to consider what it is that I’m saying, and what we’re all saying for that matter. Most people would say, they’re not really saying anything when they use the Lord’s name in vain and I think that’s because no one really understands why we say it and why we don’t. Yet, I’m so conditioned to not saying it, that even when it’s needed it still doesn’t come out of my mouth.
In my church this summer, a pastor spoke on sex. He talked a lot about why it’s meant for marriage and not outside of marriage. The biggest thing is that the world makes sex normal. I think most people would think that would be a good thing, except that it’s supposed to be special. It’s supposed to be celebrated between a husband and wife and something they can share, just the two of them. Yet because sex is everywhere, it’s not as special as it used to be, or aught to be.
This is the same with God’s name. He didn’t just give us a rule because he wants us to fall, but because he wants to be special to us. He wants us to use his name when we are thanking him, praying to him, in righteousness, in purity, holiness, sacredness. All these words are special, as is his name. In a name is a lot of power, especially in Christ’s. Demon’s are pulled from people by the name of Christ. His name is special and has power and God wants us to use it accordingly.
So hold back on using God’s name in everyday speech, not because you want to be righteous by your actions and not because your just following a law, but out of respect for the one who made you and wants to be special to you.
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Tim 2:20-22
for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16