OMG Oh no, how awful! I am so sorry.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” This is one of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. We are not to use God’s name as a curse word or speak it lightly.

Since Leslie Allebach’s devotion on What the Bible has to say about OMG, (Oct 2015) I have received many e-mails and questions regarding it. One three-page message rebuked me harshly because OMG is fine to say, according to him. Most of the comments were sincere and asked for more explanation of why I thought saying OMG was wrong.

I don’t say “Oh my God,” because I believe it is taking His name in vain. I try hard not to use any form of OMG, “Oh my gosh, oh my gracious, over my grave, oh my gout, or oh my guts,” because some people think all these forms of OMG are the Christian version of swearing. Christians should not have their own form of cussing or using His Name in vain. If someone thinks unfavorably of Christians because of something I say, shame on me. We are called to be separated from the world, so if unbelievers hear us use His name lightly, we shouldn’t do it. That’s just my opinion. How you speak is your decision, between you and your God.

In Africa after purchasing a shipment of medications for my clinics, I went home and opened one of the sealed containers. All the pills were broken and powdery with a horrible odor. I took them back and showed them to the warehouse manager, who accused me of ruining the medication. I opened another can in front of him, but all thirty containers, none of which were expired, were ruined. The manager refused to refund my $300 and wouldn’t exchange the medications.

My money was gone and my patients would suffer, so I was angry. That evening when the missionaries gathered I explained the situation. I concluded with, “I am so mad, I could … could … I could spit nails.” It was the most horrible expression my mother used. Someone said it was the same as swearing. And I didn’t know that.

Should someone say, “Oh no, how awful! I am so sorry?” But what if someone gasps and says, “I’ll pray for you,” and sincerely prays?

If I can’t think of something positive and pleasant to say, maybe it’s time for me to keep my mouth closed.



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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