Friday, April 6, 2012


I've been working with a group this week and one of the girls keeps saying, 'Oh God...' in regard to almost everything.

Her leader's response is typically, 'Oh, I didn't realize we were praying!' Sometimes the leader will go so far as to get her student to pray in these moments. I honestly think it's a good exercise and have been appreciative of it.

I don't really know how to handle it when other believers take the Lord's name in vain. It's one of those things that makes me cringe more than any other--the way that we've latched onto phrases that allow us to mutter 'God' or 'Jesus Christ' under our breath when something bad has happened. Are we really directing that toward Him... or has the name of the great I Am literally become a curse word? Sometimes it's more of an exclamation, a claim of disbelief. It seems to take on various meanings, depending on context.

It's interesting because back in the day, devout Jews wouldn't even utter the name of God because it was so holy it would be considered blasphemy... and now we toss His name around without thinking twice about it.

Some might argue that because the actual word 'God' is not the name of God it's not considered taking the Lord's name in vain.
The people of Israel were so in awe of the name of God that they did not put the vowels into the words or say them to keep from accidentally blaspheming. YHWH comes out in English as Yahweh, or more popularly (but less accurate) as Jehovah.   -Kevin Corbin 
I get this argument. Because we're not walking around saying 'Oh Yahweh' when we stub our toe... maybe it's not so wrong after all?

I'd still argue it though. I'd argue it because the phrases consist of the names most of us in America commonly use for Him. They are the names He is known by here. God. Lord. Christ. Even the word 'holy' has a lot of uses for it now that don't actually mean holy (watch some Batman, if you don't believe me).

I struggle with this one a lot though... I struggle because it's a hard one for me to confront. I hate having to tell people who I know love the Lord dearly that they are, in fact, using the Lord's name in vain. Lots of times they don't even realize it... and lots of times it's become so much of a habit that it's pointless... and every once in a while I get the 'it doesn't matter, because I'm not actually taking the Lord's name in vain' stance.

Sometimes I feel crazy for caring...but for whatever reason I feel like this matters. No, it's not going to determine our salvation. And maybe it equates to us using all sorts of words/phrases in vain. We very clearly are a people who are quick to make promises to pray for someone (and then don't) or to assure others that the Lord told us something (even if we know He didn't). Lots of jargon, lots of lingo... all used in vain.

I don't know.
I just know there's a higher calling in our lives. I know there's a greater purpose.
Maybe you think it matters... maybe you don't.

You tell me...
Curious to hear your thoughts on this one.

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1 comment:

  1. This bothers me too. I cringe when I hear "Oh my God" or any forms like that, I was convicted that this is truly taking His name in vain, the name of Yahweh is to be set apart, holy, this excludes exclamations or mumbles under my breath and many other areas.
    It is hard to confront people about it because it is a controversial subject and I'd hate to seem to have a "holier than thou" additude or make things awkward...when I do speak up people don't even realize they are saying it until it's mentioned!