by Deanne Baum
Do we use certain words and phrases casually without fully understanding their meaning?
Coming out of the world nearly 10-years ago. I brought with me a lifetime of bad habits such as swearing. My use of various “choice” words, which I used without knowing their origins. I would usually revert to these words when upset, tired, angry, or when things did not go my way. It was obvious why I needed to stop swearing and so I simply did. I was still using euphemisms until one day someone cared enough to explain why I should no longer say them. An older woman whom I respected, quietly and lovingly mentored me. I listened amazed at what I needed to learn and thought perhaps there were others who may be unaware like I was.
Another reason was that while reading the Bible, I read scripture which prompted me to meditate on using God’s name in vain. Even if it’s done in short. Acronyms still bring the actual word to someone’s mind and you see and hear it everywhere! In Psalms 22:1-2, King David humbled himself while pouring forth in heartfelt prayer and supplication to God. Another scripture found in Matthew 26:39, 42, 44 Jesus Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to His Father the night before He died. Not once, or twice, but three times, Jesus prayed the same prayer beginning with “O My Father”. While He prayed we know Jesus was in pure agony praying more earnestly to the point of having great drops of blood pour forth which fell to the ground (Luke 22:41-44).
Clearly in these two accounts, both David and Christ were fully immersed in reverent, fervent prayer, beseeching Almighty God for help. Their prayers were deeply heartfelt and respectful. Likewise, if we were to get down on our knees and utter the same words of “O My Father” when faced with a trial, we would be honoring God.
The world is under the sway and influence of the wicked evil one, Satan the devil (1 John 5:19). What does the devil like to do? Perverting and twisting anything pure and holy which is from God. This has occurred from the beginning, in the days of the Garden of Eden, when he deceived Eve with the first lie. (Genesis 3:1-4) Satan’s purpose thereafter was and is to destroy our relationship with God and prevent as many as He can from having a relationship with God. Satan is not content with just one form of blasphemy. He has influenced humanity with many forms of speech, they are often masked cleverly to cause confusion for those who are too preoccupied or don’t see the link. Some are from God, while others are taken from the name of Christ. They are often used venomously in a forceful, arrogant or prideful way.
The third commandment clearly states “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” (Exodus 20:3 NKJV).
I used these same words casually and almost daily until it was pointed out that this is breaking the third commandment. In just a short while, I managed to cease from this habit, but there was an occasional lapse where I stopped myself mid-way through the expression, as my brain caught up with my tongue. I wasn’t thinking; I was used to adopting popular speech and it wasa habit. One which I had become oblivious to. As we know practice makes perfect. God knows if we are making an effort and trying our best to change our ways to align with His ways, which are perfect and holy. we are told to imitate our Father and older brother Jesus by being holy in all our conduct. Setting a good example to others around us. (Leviticus 11:45 and 1 Peter 1:13-16)
We see and hear these words being used all around us and all the other undesirable forms of speech under the sun. On posters at the bus stop, on billboard signs, TV shows, magazines, newspapers, on the Internet, in books, through emails, in text messages from others, from colleagues at work, family, and friends. In fact, it is nearly everywhere we go. No one is immune from it unless you live in isolation far from civilization.
What are we to do, we cannot change the world? I have found that people around me still use bad language, but sometimes apologize or feel awkward in my presence without a word from me. They have noticed that I do initiate this type of speech. God tells us to have “no corrupt word proceed out of our mouth”. (Ephesians 4:29) God also tells us to make sure our speech is always with grace and seasoned with salt in order to know how we should answer all those in the world by walking in wisdom. (Colossians 4:5-6) Like King David We need to ask God to “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips”. (Psalms 141:3)
It grieves my heart so much to know that Satan mocks God on every level. Realizing how deeply the Savior of the world prayed to God that night in the Garden of Gethsemane before he died and that his very words “Oh My Father” would be mimicked in such a vile, filthy way, and are ignorantly swallowed by the world, just reduces me to tears. We need to combat Satan’s filthy pollution by being the best examples we can be with help from God our Father (Ephesians 5:1-11).