Oh My God!

Anyone alive today can attest to the popularity of this phrase: “Oh My God!” It is typically used to express shock or surprise concerning an event or even a joke. With the appearance of social networks—such as Facebook and Myspace—the phrase has been shortened down to three letters: “OMG.” The shortening of this phrase, and many other phrases, is to keep in rhythm with a culture that requires rapid communication to function. Though there is nothing wrong with shortening phrases, there might be something wrong with using God’s name so casually. Should the Christian be different?

Growing up in a Seventh-day Adventist home, I was blessed with the privilege of hearing the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) read out loud every Friday evening. Initially, I didn’t think that it was a blessing, but as I began to hear the voice of the Spirit speak to me, the Word of God had more meaning. Many years have passed since those initial stages, but I would like to go back to a particular commandment at this point to reflect upon.

The Third commandment, found in Exodus 20.7a (cf. Deut. 5.11), reads “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” An extreme interpretation might be seen as not saying the name of God at all. However, there is many scriptural references proving otherwise. This verse primarily refers to the treatment of God’s name by His followers. It is not to be used in vain [Heb. shav’ or shav: meaning emptiness, vanity, falsehood]. The name of God is not to be used as an insignificant term, spoken without thought. We should be conscience of when, how, and why we are using God’s name. Our social context may present alternative usages, but we must abide by what scripture says, if indeed we are the children of God.

If we are to use the phrase “Oh My God,” then let it be used with thought of the being that we are addressing, the God of heaven. This is not a call for a conservative attitude, but rather a call for a biblical mindset. If God is God then let the people of God use His name as such.

Article Copyright © 2009 by Jerry Jacques.

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4 comments on “Oh My God!

  1. What a beautiful piece? May the Lord bless the writer always.

    I’m glad you took the time to write this article.I sometimes uses the phrase without paying attention to it, not realizing that I’m using my Maker name in vain.
    Now I know to be extra careful when I’m saying OMG. I will say OMG to give Him praise!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And please keep on writing my Brother!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for the comment and your support Cookie. We all have in some form or at some point participated in that activity. The lesson is to pray for God’s Spirit to keep us from committing such actions.

    I’ll keep you in prayer as you do so for me. Blessings, energetic one!

  3. Great piece Jerry. Gee your writing is superb! I am signally impressed and humbled. May Jesus Christ be praised! KEEP THIS UP!

  4. This is a great piece bro! Also, I’ve seen people who, in order to justify using the name of Our Maker in vain use the term “Oh my gosh” as if that makes it any better, it’s just replacing one bad with another, like instead of saying hell, they say “heck” and you know the other curses they replace with some mild ones. Let’s continue to pray for one another.

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