First of all, I don't want to offend anybody. I just want to tell you…
“I love Jesus but I cuss a little.”
This is the saying I saw on a T-shirt at a store I was shopping at recently. Is this you? Do you claim to love Jesus, but also use words that you shouldn’t? I want to lovingly tell you Why I Don’t Swear, and why you shouldn’t, either. Please imagine me using my kindest voice possible throughout this post!
(Be sure to read to the end, to find out about some words you may not have known are cuss words.)
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A couple of years ago I began writing about some serious topics occasionally, beginning with “Why I Will Not Be Thanking My Socks.” I plan to write about “Why my name is Liberty,” but today I have chosen Swearing for my topic.
- Why I Will Not Be Thanking My Socks
- Why I Do Not Celebrate Halloween
- Why I Don’t Drink Wine
- Why I Homeschool my Kids
- Why I Don’t Swear
Oh my …..
Maybe you’ve never thought some of the things I am going to mention. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
What do you say when you are excited, surprised, or disappointed? I find that I say phrases like, “oh my goodness” or “man” or “rats.” Some people say “oh my word” or “for Pete’s sake.”
Today I want to talk about the phrase “Oh my God.” Perhaps when you saw the title, you thought that I was going to talk about saying 4 letter words like “damn” or “hell.” No, today I want to talk about a 3 letter word. (I don’t think we should use those other 4 letter words either, but that is not my focus today.)
Many people who say they are Christians use the phrase “oh my G_d” a lot. They use that phrase when they are excited or surprised. They might use it if they are scared, like on a roller coaster ride.
The acronym for those three words is also extremely popular, especially in this day and age of texting and everything online.
I tried to find out when the phrase first began to be used, and apparently it has been around for a very long time; so long, in fact, that I couldn’t seem to go back far enough to find the original use!
Do you know that one of the ten commandments says “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”? Have you ever considered what that means?
Maybe you think it means not to curse God, or not to blaspheme His name.
Today I would like you to consider that saying “oh my G_d” when you are not praying to Him, is actually taking His name in vain. I think the phrase “Take His name in vain” means to use His name carelessly.
Phillipians 2:10 says that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”Acts 4:12
Jesus’ name is very precious– it is the only name that we can call on, and be saved for all eternity. His name is the name that every knee will one day bow to.
[You may wonder why I began talking about Jesus’ name, when I started out talking about God’s name. According to John 10:30, Jesus and God are the same person. See also Psalm 110:1, and Matthew 22:41-45]
Is it ever Okay?
When could it be appropriate to use that phrase? Are there times to use it? Yes, there are! Use it when:
- You are praying to God. Psalm 25: says “Oh my God, I trust in thee.”
- You are talking about Him. For example, “Oh, my God, He is a good God!!”
And those are the only two times that I know of that you or I should use that phrase.
I would like to mention some substitutes that you may not know about. Did you know that gosh, golly, and gee, are simply substitutes for the word God? The fancy word for that is “euphemism” and the slang term is: candy-coated cuss words. If you don’t believe me, look up the definitions for those words.
Lastly, I want to ask you something. What if when your child or friend got frustrated, they just hollered out your name? What if they just threw that name around like it didn’t mean anything? I don’t know about you, but I like my name! I think it is pretty special. I would not like it if my name became a cuss word, and used carelessly. And I believe that is exactly what God was communicating to us when He said – Don’t take my name in vain.
Why do people use God’s name? Why don’t they use a different name when they are excited? I don’t really know.
I also want to mention that there are a few other words that are precious, that shouldn’t be used carelessly. What about “Praise the Lord” or “Thank the Lord”? Have you ever heard those phrases over used, or without the reverence they deserve? Long ago, I had a coworker who used “Hallelujah” in the same way a person would normally use a cuss word. It was extremely disrespectful, in my opinion. (Did you know that Hallelujah means “Praise the Lord”?)
My purpose for writing this post is this: I hope you will think a little bit before something questionable flies out of your mouth. Especially if you are a Christian- – because if you are a Christian, then God’s name should be very precious to you.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”Proverbs 18:10
That’s how we should be using His name– as a refuge, not as an exclamation.
I have a few more thoughts to add…. Perhaps you think I am being too picky about this subject, especially about the euphemisms. Take a moment and think about the God of the Bible that Christians claim to love and serve. Isn’t He also quite a bit particular, or picky? I could give many examples.
You have probably heard the saying that “Ignorance is bliss.” Yes, you may have been unknowingly using God’s name carelessly. But I must also remind you that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” In a court of law, if you break the law, you are still guilty whether you were aware of the law or not. Now that you have been made aware, I hope your newfound knowledge will help you stay out of the courthouse! : )