The “OMG” And Other Cultural Comments

Johnny Oxendine

Almost daily now I come in contact with kids and, occasionally, teachers at school who, without a thought, will utter the now ubiquitous OMG comment. It has become quite common in conversation today, and many of the people are not even aware of just what this type of speech is saying.

The acronym stands for “Oh My God,” or “Oh My Goodness,” or “Oh My Gosh,” and is in everyday slang a use of God’s name that is not appropriate because of the verse in Exodus 20:7 and (repeated in) Deuteronomy 5:11 that implores us not to misuse the Lord’s name. The Third Commandment reminds us of the importance of the manner in which we use God’s name. It speaks to the fact that the way we use God’s name is an indication of how we understand our relationship with Him.

Vain, as used in that verse is defined as “uselessly,” “worthlessly,” and in “emptiness of speech.” The original meaning of this verse is literally, “You shall not lift up the name of Yahweh unto vanity.” To lift up, means to invoke God’s name in taking an oath. In other words, when we take an oath, we are calling upon God as a witness to confirm the truth of our word. God is saying, “Do not call upon My name to confirm the truth of your word when it is a vain, worthless, empty cause.” To attach God’s name to emptiness is to misuse it. If we think of how many people in the world today casually throw out the Lord’s name (and how often this occurs), we can understand even better the general disregard there is for all things spiritual. This means nothing to them as can be testified by the fact that this acronym is commonly used on the Internet in chat sessions, whether Facebook or Twitter, or any other sites.

When we (God’s children) call on the Lord, we are to honor Him. To revere His Holy Name. Those in the world for whom the Lord means so little obviously are not only careless, but in some instances they are callous, as it belittles the Creator by associating and invoking Him with things that are secular and insignificant. “Did you see that, OMG?,” or, “OMG, I almost LOL…,” and such other blatant disregard for the Almighty.

I remember just a few years ago it was so trendy for people to say, “hella” as if it was just the coolest use of the English language. “Oh, that was just, hella cool man…,” or some such derivative. Christians have to know the difference, and this is especially important for young people, as they are usually the group most influenced by these loose standards of speech. Our responsibility is to teach those we come in contact with that the Lord’s name is not to be used lightly. “Think on these things.”

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Author: Editor

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