Attitude is a reflection of what is in our hearts. Is your attitude toward God’s name bored or indifferent, like the look on this owl’s face?
We all have heard the names God, Jesus and Jesus Christ spoken in public. Of course they are spoken in Christian settings such as: worship service, weddings, baptisms, and Bible study. Under these circumstances, those who are participating or watching welcome the use of these glorious names.
It is during these events that we:
- Sing songs to God and Jesus
- Take sacred vows in front of God and Jesus
- Dedicate life to God and Jesus
- Learn more about love from God and Jesus
But what about areas outside Christian settings? When we hear these names used with what seems to be no intent of worship, acknowledgment, commitment or devotion?
I recently had my teeth cleaned at the dentist. While sitting in reception area waiting to be called for my procedure, a women walked in. She approached the front counter, signed in, then started complaining about the traffic. “J**** C****!” she proclaimed. “Why does there have to be so much traffic?” Now… I am extremely joyful each time I hear someone rightfully voice the name Jesus outside of a Christian setting. Recognizing Jesus has power over everything always lifts Him up. But is that really what this woman was communicating?
She was in an agitated state. Of course I could not look deep inside her heart, but her tone and body language made the meaning of her word choice quite easy to identify. She was turning the name Jesus into a swear word, rather than actually approaching His throne for answers to her traffic problem. It is normal for Christians to go to Jesus when we are in distress. But it is all about our attitude – the outward display of what lies inside our heart, that reveals our meaning when we choose to speak His name.
We all want to know the answer to “Why?” Not that God always gives us an answer. But many times we Christians just need to feel His peace in uncomfortable or difficult or flustering situations. I do not know if this woman was a Christian or not, but if she is, using the name Jesus Christ while accompanied with her negative display of annoyance, will not bring about any comfort to her during a flustering situation.
This action of recognition is usually done in private. So when I hear the names God and Jesus spoken with acknowledgment and praise on wordily television, I can not stop smiling.
Kathie Lee Gifford, television personality and co-host of the “Today” show, was married to ex-football player/sports commentator Frank Gifford for 29 years. Sadly, Frank passed away suddenly on August 9. When Kathie Lee returned to work after a short time off, she gave an eloquent description of Frank’s relationship with Jesus. Kathie Lee called on the names God and Jesus with such love and respect. Without one already knowing her commitment to Christ, it was easy to understand the direction of her heart.
Kathie Lee also lovingly recounted where Frank received his faith from, and how it held onto him during tough times. “He [Frank] strayed from his faith on occasion but his faith never left him.” What a truth this is for all Christians. We all stray, but strong faith holds us strong. Kathie Lee then went on to recount how their love for God deepened as time went on.
After listening to this unscripted, heartfelt admission of the Gifford’s attitudes toward God and Jesus, no one would ever mistake their attitude for the name title of God, to be anything less than honor and respect. Exactly what we are called to do.
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:9-11
I thank Kathie Lee for sharing on national television what a true conversation of speaking God’s name in public should sound like. If you want to listen to a fabulous worship song honoring the name Jesus, click Your Great Name, recorded by Natalie Grant, and written by Integrity Music worship leader Michael Neale and singer/songwriter/worship leader Krissy Nordhoff.
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