My ears are tired. They are tired of being assaulted everywhere I go, whether it is by the TV, the radio, people around me out in public, or yes, even at my own church. It seems that, these days, no matter where I am or who I am listening to, I hear an abundance of one thing—the misuse of the name of my Lord. Today, though, was the final straw. While sitting alone in my own kitchen, reading today’s newspaper ads, I came across an ad for a T-shirt marketed for young girls. This T-shirt was a “Bobby Jack” brand, popular for the cute monkey character pictured on their articles of clothing. On this particular shirt, there is a large monkey face with giant letters spelling out “OMG!”. Now, anyone who has even a rudimentary knowledge of texting (and mine is rudimentary at best!) knows what this means. It is the same vile phrase uttered by millions of people every day, taken lightly even by many Christians.
My family enjoys occasionally watching a television show on Sunday evenings called “Extreme Home Makeover”. The kids love seeing families in difficult circumstances blessed by a loving community and a design team who delights in making life better for these families. We quickly tired, however, of the prevalence of this phrase (OMG) uttered by the surprised people while viewing their new houses. We learned to watch this show with the volume turned down all the way when it came time for the families to tour their new homes. Hearing this phrase uttered over and over is equivalent to hearing fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. It raises the hairs on the back of my neck and makes me grit my teeth.
Whatever happened to the third commandment? In Exodus 20:7, God says, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” Jeremiah 44:10-11 says, “To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your fathers. Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah.” Misusing the Lord’s name in an irreverent fashion is not something to be casual about, no matter how commonplace it has become in our society. Are we instilling this reverence in our children? Does this phrase crop up in their vocabulary? How about yours? Do we stand up for our Lord when we hear someone uttering this phrase? How long will we passively sit by while our Lord is treated with disrespect and irreverence?
Let’s raise a generation of children who won’t stand for this mockery of the name of our God. Let’s teach them to stand up for our faith and to fight back against the world’s cheapening of all that is holy. Let’s set them an example of pure speech, and hold them to a standard that is much different than that of the world. Let’s say “enough is enough” and draw a line in the sand, refusing to let our speech be tarnished by the world’s influence. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Our God is holiness personified and His name is not to be taken lightly.
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