My God?

“My God?”

Sometimes we are shocked about the way people speak of our God—the true and living God—in a careless, crude, meaningless, and vain way. Or it may be that there is more dismay, disappointment, and grief in the way others carelessly refer to the Lord in their conversation!

Surely you know what I mean. You may be communicating about  a given subject, even an everyday topic—and the other person interjects with something like, “God!” They may do this to make a point or emphasize their exasperation. You and I know that this is taking God’s “name” in vain, but it would seem that millions of people are so careless and insensitive that they freely use such a term, without qualms and with little thought of the guilt that they are incurring!

It may be “God!” or it may be “My God!” or perhaps “Jesus Christ.” Many different variations of this may come from such utterances. For instance: Lord God! Jesus! Christ! Lord!

But it would seem that at least in the area where I live, “My God” or “God” are among the favorite vain expressions. We ponder, “Don’t these people really know the guilt that they have through such terms of Deity? Don’t they care? Don’t they know? Don’t they have a concern? Don’t they tremble when they take God’s name in vain?”

Granted, one of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). The explanatory note says: “Prohibition against false swearing . . . and involves use of God’s name” (NASB Study Bible). But the principle goes further. It would forbid the frivolous and careless use of either God’s “name” or a substitute for that Name. Exodus refers to “the name of Yahweh your God,” but the principle would also forbid the careless use of substitutes for the term “Yahweh,” such as Lord, Christ, Jesus, etc.

This means that when our friend, family member, or acquaintance carelessly uses a term for Deity, he or she is gravely guilty of sin! He or she uses a term in a careless way that should be used in a very holy, careful, thoughtful and respectful way. Just as you wouldn’t want to refer to your father, mother or spouse in a careless way, so you shouldn’t want to refer to God in a careless way either.

When you hear (or read) of God’s “name” being used in a profane or careless way you should take this as a personal offense. They are treating the greatest Being in the universe with great disrespect! They are daring to use His name frivolously and with contempt! And if they dare to do this with God, wouldn’t they also do this with you and your name if opportunity affords this?

Even religious people may use God’s name in this way. We’ve heard preachers and other church-going people disrespect God like this. It is just part of their vocabulary. They have used such a Name so frequently in this way that they seem to think nothing of it! This is utterly amazing. Surely treating God with disrespect by using His Name frivolously is wickedness and evil!

May God help us to purify our speech and only use God’s Name honestly, respectfully, and thoughtfully! Let us allow our light to shine in a world of darkness!

–Richard Hollerman

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