Growing up Baptist, I learned the 10 Commandments. I was good on the ones about murder and stealing, and even adultery (being an adult?), although I may have occasionally slipped up when it came to coveting my neighbor, especially if it were her gogo boots, muff, or station wagon.
But one commandment I took especially seriously: 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.
In our house, God’s name was never taken in vain. Ever. I remember once my mom slapping me. I recoiled in shock, unsure what I’d done, and she said I’d said, “God” in the place of “gosh.” I was shocked, as perhaps it came out that way, but it was certainly not something I’d ever intentionally say.
I remember hearing someone (perhaps a Sunday School teacher?) say that it was even wrong to say “gosh” or “golly” as those were short for “God,” or “gee” as that was short for “Jesus.” Well – gee! It could be hard to find exclamations. No wonder that I often resorted to “Oh, boogers” in moments of extreme stress.
I have to say that I’m glad though that the lesson of honoring God’s name was impressed upon me early. To this day, I can’t hear someone say, “Oh my G__” without a fairly sizable inward cringe. And I hear it a lot, even from folks who attend church.
And I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, at the incidence of God’s name being misused on TV. The other week, I watched two network sitcom-type shows I’d never seen before, since I’d read positive reviews on them. God’s name was flying on both shows, although let’s just say it wasn’t related to His majesty or glory. My daughter and I kept looking at each other, rolling our eyes. Finally, I decided that my first episodes would have to be my last, as it just bothered me to hear all that. Nails on the chalkboard, and all that.
It’s a shame that our society doesn’t have more respect for the creator who made us.