Am I taking God’s name in vain if I say OMG in a sad situation?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 3

So Cynthia is asking, I heard that OMG is taking God’s name in vain. If someone says that after hearing sad news and says OMG, but in a caring voice, is that still in vain? I know I’ve said, oh, my God, but it’s always been when I hear about a terrible accident, someone is very ill. But when I say, oh, my God, I always pray for that person and ask God to heal them. I’m not at all angry when I say OMG, is it still a sin if you say it in a sad voice and offer up prayers?

Speaker 1

So, Cynthia, I think that is a fantastic question because that is like practical Christianity 101. You had something that came up and you’re just looking at, is this in harmony with God’s law? And as you know, in Exodus, chapter 20, verse seven, we see the third commandment that says, Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain. But there’s a little something extra to that verse or to that commandment which God says and it says, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain. So it’s very serious when we’re talking about God’s Holy name, and it’s not just the name of God, but it’s the essence of who he is. And so his character. And we’re putting God’s character on the line when we’re calling ourselves his followers a Christian and we’re doing something that doesn’t honor him. Do you know what I’m saying? So when it comes to the phrase OMG, I remember I worked in a high school when that started becoming very popular, the OMG acronym that people put in text messages and comments and stuff. And I had to think to myself, so many of my students, they say it all the time.

Speaker 1

And I was a little bit like, I don’t know if I like that, because you kind of have to think, what is the source? What is really the meaning of that acronym, OMG? And it is to say, oh, my God. And so we have to be very careful when we do things that even allude to God’s name, because even though you might not be saying the name God, you know what it means, you know what I’m saying? It’s a way of just saying, wow, instead of using God’s name to address him or to talk about him in an elevating way, it’s kind of diminishing the value of his name, I would say. And to just kind of give some emphasis to that if you look in the Bible, because to me, based on what you’re saying, it sounds like you’re kind of struggling here because you definitely have all the marks of a genuine Christian. You’re debating, Am I doing this? Am I doing something that could offend God? And obviously, Cynthia, I think that is absolutely, perfectly right. We’re not sure that could be that the Holy Spirit is convicting us of something to bring us to a higher level in our walk, in our Christian walk.

Speaker 1

And to just show you the verse that I would say, if you’re even questioning it, I would say to stop using it or even to stop saying, oh, my God, even if your meaning in a sincere way, like, oh, wow, that’s so terrible. Let me pray. That is the correct thing to do is to have a genuine concern and pray for somebody who’s suffering or in need. But thinking about how is it perceived by others if they know you’re a Christian and you’re saying OMG or oh, my God, but it’s in a way that’s meaning a while and not, oh, my God, like, I’m talking to you, I would be very careful. And because it says in Romans 1428, anything that’s not of faith is sin. So if you’re not feeling 100% confident that this is okay, it’s probably not okay. John 16 eight also says that the spirit convicts us of things. And so I would say the Spirit is pricking your heart. Like, maybe this isn’t quite right. I would say to avoid it. And the biggest basis of me saying that is Matthew 1236. Jesus says every idol world word will be brought up in the judgment.

Speaker 1

And so we have to be careful of the things we say, especially when we’re dealing with God’s Holy name. So I would say if you’re feeling conviction by the Holy Spirit that it might not be right err on the side of what will give God the most glory and find something else to say when you’re just trying to think like, oh, wow, that’s terrible. Oh, wow, let’s pray for this person. And I feel like that might be a little bit more powerful of a witness to the people around you, because I’m sure your desire is sincerely to honor and glorify God.

Speaker 4

It’s a great response. I appreciate that. Jay, did you have any quick things to add?

Speaker 2

What I’ll add is I like to talk about how God really magnified or Jesus really took the law to the next level, rather than doing away with there’s something more to it. And taking the Lord’s name in vain really does even go more beyond that. It’s a mindset of how much reverence do you have for God? How much are you aware of what you do and you say reflects on God? And when we go out and we call ourselves Christians right there, we’re using the name of God and we’re associating it with ourself. And then what are we doing? Are we really conveying the right image of God? So, yeah, what Tina said is absolutely right. Review the name of the Lord. But then how does it go and beyond further, even with how you’re representing the Lord as his acclaimed representative?

Speaker 1

Just to back up what you’re saying, Jay, I think that’s absolutely right. And when I was kind of thinking about this, there’s a proverb in Proverbs 30, verse nine he’s asking God let me have just enough but not too much because he’s like lest I have too much and be full and say who is the Lord? He says oh lest I be poor and steal and take the name of my God in vain meaning that because he calls himself a father of God and yet if he steals he’s taking the name of God in vain. Stealing has nothing to do with the words you say it’s your actions and so him calling himself a follower of God and stealing that takes God’s name in vain. So you’re absolutely right in bringing that out that it’s not just the letter of the law but it’s the spirit of the law.

Speaker 2

Yeah and I would point people to Matthew seven starting in verse 22 where Jesus talks about there’s going to be people at the end who are going to say Lord did we not in your name prophesy and did we not cast out Devils in your name and in your name do all these wonderful works and Jesus is going to say Department for me I never knew you verse 23 so he’s been misrepresented by these people who are claiming doing wonderful things but they completely miss God, they don’t even recognize it.

Speaker 4

Yeah we got to wrap up this question but I still can’t help.

Speaker 3

I feel like we didn’t quite answer something in it which is if something just horrific happens and it’s like a prayer when we’re saying like oh my Lord help.

Speaker 4

Is that okay?

Speaker 1

Yeah and I mean you look at the example of like Peter when he went Jesus was walking on water and he went out to meet him and he looked at the waves and then he started to sink and he said Lord save me and he was crying out to the Lord and that’s okay if you’re saying oh God help me oh God be with this person that’s different. You’re addressing him but if you’re just saying like oh OMG to mean oh wow, that’s terrible. Yeah I don’t know, I’d just be really careful.

Speaker 4

Thank you for giving that differentiation there. That was great.

Speaker 2

I mean even Jesus on the cross right says my God.

Speaker 4

My God why have you forsaken me yeah so it really comes down to the spirit of how using it and why you know how and why we’re using it.

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