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Monday, September 21, 2009

I grew up tossing the Lord's name around like litter

Why is it whenever something extraordinary happens (good or bad) that the natural response is to profane God's name? It is used like an exclamation point when it should be used in a prayer of thanksgiving or a supplication for aid.

Throw it in this sentence, shove it in that one. Wad it up and throw it over there. Growing up, almost everyone I know gave that extra punch to their thoughts with God's holy name. Everyone, including me. It was as natural for me to profane the name of the Sovereign God of the universe as it was to breath the air He created into the lungs He formed in my mother's womb. The habit was so ingrained that the first time it came out of my mouth after I became a believer I was stunned. It was like a cancer that had dug its tendrils deep into my mind and heart and would not let go. I had to confess this sin to my Lord and beg Him to take it away from me. I prayed that He would not allow me to every say it without it reverberating in my soul, causing a revulsion that would effectively destroy my desire for it (my actual prayer was that He would make it stick out like a sore thumb). He was faithful to that request and I was able to leave off using His holy name in an unholy way--for the most part. Sometimes on the rarest of occasions, and by that I mean a half a dozen times or less in my 23 years of being a believer in Jesus Christ, I have used His name profanely--or else almost used it, catching myself (with the Spirit's aid, no doubt) just before it slipped out. It shocks me when it happens, but that path was so well worn back then that I sometimes find I have wandered onto it again and I hate it. All I can do (which is not a statement of resignation, rather, a statement of fact) is to confess my sin, ask for forgiveness and pray that by God's grace I will not return to it again.

The reason I wrote this note, which I originally posted on Facebook and have modified for this blog, is that this profane use of God's holy name is everywhere. For the most part it is watered down with those three little letters that have become all the rage, "OMG," but their meaning is clear. Even if the writer was thinking "Oh my goodness" or "Oh my gosh" while typing them, everyone else reads it the other way. If you are one for whom this is as natural as the air you breath, please at least think twice about what you are doing before you use them again. God is holy and you owe Him everything.


Matt said...

Thanks for the thoughts. And you make a good point about the acronym. Connotation is so important, but doesn't always come across in text.

Lorraine said...

I heartily agree! I really dislike those letters too - same reason. I also had to break that horrid habit many years ago. It took quite a long time for all my nasties to slough off, but God was gracious and patient with me.