by Joe Slater
In this day of email, text messaging, and Twitter, nearly everything goes by an acronym. Acronyms are abbreviations where each letter stands for a word, such as FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Using acronyms saves time and space, making our electronic communications more efficient. However, latecomers to cyberspace and wireless may become frustrated when they have no clue what LOL means (laughing out loud).
They may have a low opinion of acronyms as they wonder what IMO (in my opinion) and IOW (in other words) stand for. Acronyms can be annoying!
The aggravation of most acronyms vanishes once we understand their meanings. However, one common acronym is irritating when you do know its meaning and that is OMG! (Oh my God!)
Reverent men such as David, who were actually crying out to God, use the expression, “O my God” repeatedly in the Old Testament. “Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God” (Psalm 3:7). Even Jesus cried out to the Father from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46, quoting Psalm 22:1).
However, are those who use OMG!, whether in an acronym, or spelled out, or verbally, actually intending to call upon God in a respectful way? No, they are abusing God’s name as an expression of shock or surprise. If something wonderful has happened, “OMG! That’s great!” If a disaster occurs, “OMG! That’s awful!”
Jesus taught us to revere God’s name. “Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Hallowed is the same word as sanctified or holy. God’s name is special, and must not be used lightly or carelessly.
Exclaiming “Oh my God!” when we are not calling upon him, but merely expressing our shock, anger, or amazement, is disrespectful and borders on blasphemy. We can do better, and our God deserves better.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name! (Psalm 103:1)
by Joe Slater