Think back on all your conversations with people who continually bring “God” or “Jesus” falsely into the mix. That should be easy. So many vomit up our deity’s names throughout the day; it is simply not unusual to hear the names taken in vain. The following is an excerpt from my book: Lift Him Up don’t Pull Him Down – The eternal importance of never momentarily taking our Lord’s name in vain.
So why degrade His holy name, when by definition, there are so many great negative words to select? I was stuck on the word crap a few summers ago. Whenever something went wrong, I said “crap.” It was very superficial. If I forgot to bring my cell, I said “crap.” If the shampoo bottle was empty, I said “crap.” Crap is a great negative word that means extremely poor quality. It also means excrement. In my world, excrement is a negative word.
When we examine excrement from an expletive point of view, by definition excrement is positively a wonderful word to express negativity. However, it is too long and tongue twisty to say, “I forgot my cell phone again! Oh excrement!”
That statement does not flow very well, and using any bad four letter word is not an option to me. So crap became my expressive word of choice. That is until Husband could not stand my crap any longer and politely pointed out how annoying it was to hear crap repeated throughout the day. “Oh crap!” I said. “ I have to give up my favorite expletive.”
noun : a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy without adding to the sense: one that is obscene or profane
Words inserted without adding to the sense of a sentence. My annoying habit was repeating my expletive in any situation, without that word adding any form of intelligent definition to my statement. Just like it is annoying when you hear someone give a speech and they keep repeating umm. Crap and umm are not obscene. However, they can be very annoying when used repeatedly. They do not enhance the meaning of a sentence.
So why do we continue to add annoying words that are not necessary in our conversations? We annoyingly do it out of habit. An annoying verbal habit. And this annoying habit does not make us look any smarter, sound any funnier, or act any friendlier. This habit is just—annoying!
Instead of habitually inserting G**! or J****! as expletives into your sentences, try exaggerating the words you are already referencing to make your point. Or add words that really do enhance your statement.
“G**! Why did you cheat on me again?” can be:
“WHY did you cheat on me? AGAIN!”
“Oh J****! I spilled coffee on my office report.” turns into:
“I spilled coffee on my office report! (arms lifted and spread open) Now what?”
“Oh dear G**! That is the cutest purse I have ever seen!” becomes:
“That is the cutest purse I have ever seen!”
These statements clearly convey exact meaning. Any expletives are not missed. Feelings of excitement and anxiousness are plainly made known. We need to put the practice of holy living into our daily lives, by not taking the Lord’s name in vain. It’s the act of breaking a bad habit (like I eventually broke my habit of speaking crap) and replacing it with better communication skills.
We may be around people everyday, who choose to continually take The Name in vain. But that doesn’t mean we need to adopt their offensive pattern of speech. And it’s sad, when those who claim to be “religious” or “Christian,” refuse to discuss the meaning of this important commandment. A better understanding of this all to popular verbal infraction deserves appropriate study time.
If you have developed the habit of referencing our Lord incorrectly, now is the time to correct yourself and make the change.
To understand the misuse of God’s names, order my book – Lift Him Up don’t Pull Him Down, @ Lulu.com or Amazon.com.