All of us, I am sure, use expressions or idioms to communicate our thoughts to those around us. They are figures of speech that culture has accepted as useful in communicating thoughts succinctly and accurately (hopefully). For instance, someone tells of a situation, and the reply is, “Wow!” or “No kidding” or “That’s too bad.” A simple expression can, with brevity, communicate both thoughts and emotions. Figures of speech are inherent to language.
But not all expressions or figures of speech are good. Some are four-letter words. These are bad and should never be uttered. The Bible says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). It doesn’t matter if it is a man or woman, boy or girl, old person or young, foul language is wrong and should not be said.
The other expressions invoke the name of God, and these abound, for instance OMG! or the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem with these expressions is they use God’s name in an empty, worthless, devalued way. God Himself said in Exodus 20:7: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” God’s name is to be revered because God is to be revered. If He is to be honored and respected, then so should His name.
A softer version of these expressions is common: “O my g_sh!” or “g_e” or “g_lly.” These are euphemisms for God. They make mild reference to God, but not out of respect for God or a plea for His help and guidance. These expressions fall under the prohibition the Lord gave in Exodus not to take His name in vain. Out of respect for the name of God, we should purge these expressions from our vocabulary.
Our children learn so much about what to speak while framing their values on what is acceptable from us as parents. We should be careful to exalt God to them, which would include not taking the Lord’s name in vain.