Imagine you’re one of the teenagers running around the church at the tail end of a potluck. Your mom is picking up the last of your families contribution to the holy banquet and your dad is talking shop to some of the guys on the worship team. You look back over and your mom needs some help carrying the casserole to the car. You roll your eyes. Only a few more minutes to hang out with friends and now you have to clean up after the grown ups, great.
You take what you can, but you missed something. “Honey, can you grab the umbrella we brought in this morning too?” mom says in the distance. You keep walking; pretending not to hear. She speaks a little louder. You turn around, “Oh my God mom, give me a second.”
Suddenly, your moment of teen rebellion hits a high note. You’re getting stares from the old church ladies. They roll their own eyes and mumble something about using The Lord’s name in vain. Really? Is that really a big deal?
Big God – Small View
It’s truly amazing. Us humans that is. It’s amazing to me how distracted from the biggest things in life we get. Especially for us Christians. It’s almost painful reading the Book of Exodus. There’s these people who literally see miracles consisting of a sea getting split in half by some Jedi force trick and a pillar of fire become a torch to light their way. They have food just appear in the desert and when they complain enough sometimes God will kill some of them. And yet through all this they still manage to find things to complain about. They still find other gods to invent and worship. And we sit back on our sofa’s while reading this and think of how utterly dumb these fools were.
But that’s the thing. They are people much like we are. And it’s foolishness to think that we don’t do the same things. It’s easy to read a story like that and feel good about yourself because surly I wouldn’t have forgotten God when I walked on land through the bed of a sea. Surly not.
But we do. And seemingly everyday, too. The problem with us is that we have much too small a view of a Big God.
And that’s the back drop of the Commandment that certain grandmothers remind us about after church potlucks. A bunch of Israelites in the desert constantly forgetting how Great a God they have. Then one day Moses walks down with some rules; one of them being to not improperly use God’s name. What’s the big deal? It’s just a word.
Our sin makes it easy to forget
You may be just saying a word, but the issue is that there are things that demand respect. There are things that you just don’t touch unless you’re wearing gloves. You see this? So many people have bad things to say about God. So many people disregard Him or outright insult Him. Surely it’s not too great a burden for God’s people to treat His name with respect. Because if God’s people don’t, no one else will. Not this side of heaven.
We are sinful people, even as Christians; we still bear our flesh. It’s all to easy to lapse into sinful patterns of forgetting God and worrying about our goals and ambitions. It’s easy to lose focus on a Great God. That’s why we shouldn’t use His Name in Vain. We ought to treat it with dignity and respect. He’s the God of our Salvation. He’s the God of Judgement. He’s the God of all power and resource. He deserves some thoughtful words when we bring up His name.
It’s no small thing
‘Oh my God’
It’s just a phrase but it’s so thoughtless; especially since we are using a name that should bring nothing but thoughtfulness. I encourage everyone to really reign in your usage of phrases that would bring no glory to God when you use the words that exist for calling on Him. It’s no small thing. I mean it’s small, but it has endless meaning.