OMG? Thou Shalt Not!

A third grader in the kids’ Bible club spilled a cup of her water and exclaimed, “Oh God!”

While helping her clean it up, I said quietly, “Cindy, it’s better if you say ‘Oh No!’ or ‘Oh My!’ or even ‘Oh my goodness!’ instead of ‘Oh God.'”

She looked at me questioningly. “Why?”

“When we say  ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ in the way you just did, it is considered swearing. It’s being disrespectful to God. He  does not want us to misuse His name, especially when we’re feeling frustrated or angry.”

During our lesson, I decided to work in a discussion on the Third Commandment.  This was new to some! I explained that many people swear in this way out of habit, without thinking.  “But it offends God when we misuse His name. We are also breaking the Third Commandment which says, ‘Thou shalt not misuse the name of the Lord your God.’ It must be very important to God if He put it number three on His list!  He even put it before murder, lying and stealing!” I encouraged any of the students who had ever done this to confess it as sin and then thank God for forgiving them.

The next day I received a call from Cindy’s mother. “My Cindy confronted me last night about my language,” she began. “I want to thank you for opening my eyes.  I didn’t realize what I’d been saying.  I never thought of it as swearing, or as sin until Cindy told me what she’d learned yesterday at club.”  Then she added, “She told me to say ‘Oh No!’ instead of ‘Oh God!'”

A joyful relief welled up in me. I expected there might be negative repercussions. That’s always a risk when we take a stand for God.  Never did I expect such a positive response, and so soon!  I praised God for His faithfulness and for allowing me to be encouraged in this way.

  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.   Exodus 20:7
  • [Have you ever been bold enough to speak to someone about their profanity?  What kind of response did you get? To leave a comment click on this story’s title. Then scroll to the bottom of page.]  
  • SONG: INVITE A FRIEND – Click on TITLE of story to listen: 

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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4 Responses to OMG? Thou Shalt Not!

  1. Robert says:

    I praise the Lord for your awareness of sin, and for your forthrightness in addressing this inconvenient truth to another. My opinion is that “Oh, No!” is acceptable. However, I do not think that any saying used as a substitute for God’s name is acceptable. For example, “My goodness” and “My heavens” are just as dishonoring as “Oh my God.” The reason is that the only goodness that believers possess is God, and the only one we have in heaven is God. So, while the name of God is not said, it is implied. Do we think we can fool God by disguising our intent with alternate vocabulary? Apparently so, even in the case of born again Christians. I cringe every time I hear a believer use the term “Jeez.” For a Scriptural basis of my opinion, see Psalm 73:25, “Who have I in heaven but thee?” and Matthew 5:33-37 “Swear not at all: neither by heaven…” May God be honored by our lips as well as by our lives.

    • Kathleen says:

      Thank you, I appreciate your insights! Actually, according to Matt 5:37 we’re told, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” I agree: whenever I hear someone use the word “jeez” I too cringe.

  2. Mark says:

    you are a good teacher of the word for sure!

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