"OMG!" Doesn’t Mean "O Majestic God!"

A good reminder from Edwin Crozier:

I need to share a concern with my fellow Christian Facebookers, MySpacers, Pleonasters, Twitterers, texters and other social media types. “OMG!” doesn’t mean “O Majestic God” or “O Magnificent God.” It is not a means by which God is honored. It doesn’t even mean “Oh my goodness.” When people read that, they see and hear in their minds the phrase, “Oh my God.”

Please recall that under the Old Covenant one of God’s ten laws was, “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 20:7). God’s name was to be held in honor or God would curse His people (Malachi 2:2).

The New Covenant demonstrates the same principle of honor for God. 1 Timothy 1:17 says, “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 4:11 says, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”  In Revelation 7:12, the angels, elders, and living creatures cried out, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

I’m seeing a trend that concerns me among Christians online.  More frequently I see Christians using texting shorthand for taking God’s name in vain— “OMG.”  I just want to ask you to think before you type that shorthand on your computer.  If you typed the longhand phrase, “Oh my God,” would it be appropriate?  Would you think this use of God’s name was intended to honor Him, to give Him glory and praise?

Certainly there are times when saying “Oh my God” is appropriate.  We have songs that use that phrase.  As we pray, we may praise God by calling out to Him, “Oh my God.”  We are recognizing that He is our God; we are not.  We are recognizing that He is our God; money is not.  We are recognizing that He is our God; idols are not.

However, when someone has said something surprising or said something that really resonates with us and we want to accentuate it simply by typing, “OMG! That’s amazing,” are we really calling on God and honoring Him? Were we even addressing Him?  Or were we just taking His name in vain because it was so easy and every one else does it?

God’s name is not meant to register our surprise, our shock, or our amazement. God’s name is meant to be held in honor, to bring glory to Him, to address Him.

Please think about this before you type your next status update. Let’s honor God in our speech and our online posts. He deserves it.

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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9 comments

  1. Thank so much you for this post. Too many Christians are falling prey to the habits of the world and not giving enough thought to so many things that "blend us in" instead of " setting us apart!" This is one prime example and one that is very easy to avoid.

  2. Michael Williamson

    A hearty AMEN to this article. It is very discouraging to see anyone – but especially Christians using the name of our Creator so flippantly. Let us remember how those who had left Egypt and stood at the foot of Mt Sinai felt towards God and were afraid to even have Him speak to them. They certainly understood that God was not a byword! Let us revere God in our thoughts, actions and words (spoken or unspoken)!

  3. Certainly this is important to remember when you post, as are the type of pictures you post of yourself and family and friends, your conversations, your choice of music and movies, your STATUS and any other indications which you have the opportunity to show others who and what kind of person you are. These social networks are where strangers can see who you are. What an opportunity! Will you shine as a light or pass along the darkness?

  4. Thank you Jason! Jesus used the same name for Himself, claiming His Diety, when He said, ". . .Before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58)
    And if there is any question that Jesus is Divine, He Himself said, "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)
    In view of these facts about God the Father and God the Son, we should remember our place and reverence the Holy Trinity.

  5. Hey Everyone,
    Here is a facebook page that you can like and let people know that saying God’s Name in vain should not be a minor thing!
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/OMG-is-an-Abbreviation-for-Saying-Gods-Name-in-Vain/120871464613164?v=info
    Please “like” this page if you have a facebook and spread the news!!
    Thank You
    Sarah Beth

  6. AMEN!  I have been on this campaign for a while.  You have phrased the problem clearly and with patience.  Thank you.