You hear it on TV all the time… especially on that home makeover one… you know the one I’m talking about… I hear it said all over the place: adults, kids, in the mall, on a walk, in church… I’ve even heard a parrot trained to say it.
I have to admit it. Every time I hear it, I cringe. I can deal with most other words (some make me blush and some make me shake my head), but hearing “Oh my God!” makes me cringe.
Why? Is it because that is a remnant of my conservative evangelical programming that refuses to let go? Is it because I want to adhere to the third commandment (and every other commandment for that matter) as a list of rules that I am subject to and bound to follow? Maybe it’s because I feel that I hold myself to some superior spiritual standing by not taking the Lord’s name in vain?
I recently read this post by Scot McKnight about the third commandment… that’s the one about taking the Lord’s name in vain… Oh don’t pretend you didn’t forget!
I encourage you to read McKnight’s post for yourself. He does a really good job of reconciling the fact that we are no longer slave to the law with the other fact that we are told by Jesus that if we are true followers of himself then we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. The issue comes down to that of loving God and respect for his name out of that love. The third commandment to not take the Lord’s name in vain, then takes on a much deeper dimension than simply not saying, “Oh my God.” It goes further. It means we do or say nothing that would bring dishonor to God or anything that touches God.
I believe that being able to refocus our walk with God and how we conduct ourselves through the missional lens of loving God and loving others is crucial to how we help children and families live the way God wants us to.