I received the following question from a subscriber
to our website:
"Hi Sarah, I live near many children playing and the phrase "OMG" is a habit I cringe at hearing. When a child uses the Lord's name as a swear word (or even an adult) I cringe. What do you and your followers have to say in response to hearing someone cuss like this? What should our response be?"
~ Randi G.
Your question is a good one! I agree that hearing that phrase is cringe-worthy and offensive. As to what our response should be, we could respond with a stern correction, but then, will it be received in order to be "heard"? Something else to consider, are we friends with them? If not, we would first want to make friends, to hopefully give us the right to say something. One thing is for sure, in whatever manner we approach the situation, the standard†is "doing it in love," and ultimately to win them to Jesus. Amen?†
I think you might say or ask the following of your little friends:
Would you ever use your mother's name like that? (They might not understand, so elaborate.)†
Would you ever say, "Oh my mother!" to express frustration or excitement? (No)†
Why not? (shrug)†
Well, that would be disrespectful. Right? I bet you didn't know that you just broke one of the Ten Commandments. (Really?)†
Are you familiar with the Ten Commandments? God gave them to us to help us know right from wrong. The third commandment says, "Don't take God's name in vain." That means, don't use God's holy name in a meaningless way. God loves you and me. We should honor him with our words and actions.
(You might also have the opportunity to lead them to understand that we can misuse God's name with our actions,
how we treat others, and the decisions we make. As God's children we are his
ambassadors; we represent him. I go into this idea further in God's Top Ten.)
Here's a part of lesson three:
(Ask) "Why do you suppose God gave us this commandment?" (Receive answers.)
"In Old Testament times, before Jesus came to earth, Godís name was considered so holy people wouldnít even speak his name; and when they wrote his name, they would leave out one of the letters, e.g. ďG−D.Ē (Some people do this today.) They did this to show honor and respect to God. We need to respect God too, because he created us and loves us, and so we should love and honor him. One of the ways we do this is by not misusing his name. We often hear people say a curse word together with Godís name. This is obviously wrong, and we may think this is what the commandment is about, but that is only part of it. There are many other ways to misuse Godís name. In fact, just saying Godís name in a sentence, when that sentence has nothing to do with him (such as OMG), is using his name in vainóthat is without meaning.
Remember, God gave his children the Ten Commandments so we would know how to act in his kingdom, and how to lovingly treat others. The commands were to be a guardian, tutor, or baby-sitter to teach us right from wrong until Jesus came to earth. God promised he would write his laws on the hearts of his children after that. The third commandment reminds us that our words and lives, our very behaviors, should bring honor to Godís name."
For anyone else reading this, what do you think? Add your ideas to our Facebook page!
Copyright 2021 Sarah Keith