Sunday, December 14, 2008

Strategies For When You Hear the Lord's Name Spoken in Vain

After reading, be sure to see my new addendum to this post at the bottom...

I don't know about you, but my BIGGEST PET PEEVE is when I hear the Lord's name spoken in vain.

Several people in my family and Kent's family speak this way often, and it grinds us both. I'd much rather hear an F-bomb dropped any day... and I'm sorry if this offends you, but I have to admit, I've been known to drop one of those now and then. There are times that such a crisp word just fits. But the Lord's name as a swear word NEVER fits and is always offensive. I've even heard people say, "Oh, Jesus, Mary & Joseph" - swearing not just with the Lord's name, but with the names of the entire Holy Family!

Kent & I both tend to get into the bad habit of letting the "baby" swear words roll off our tongues too easily. To some, this may be just as bad to them as the Lord's name as a swear word is to us, so yes, we need to work on this.

Think about it, though. This doesn't happen in any other religion. You don't hear someone stub their toe and shout, "Oh Budda!" Why is that?


I'm hoping that with this post we can all help each other come up with good responses to these situations.

Here's how we've handled it in the past:

  • Kent has been known to casually say, "Hey, don't bring Him into this..."
  • I've flat out said to people at times, "Hey, don't use his name like that."
  • Other times I've just said, "Ouch." (Because it really does physically hurt to hear it sometimes.)
  • I've also done a visible sign of the cross, this is nice because you don't have to say a word.
  • Sadly, what I mostly do, though, is say nothing. Usually it is because, oddly enough, I don't want to be "rude", because often it's right in the middle of their story... is that twisted or what?
  • There have been some times that I haven't said anything, but I've prayed, "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do." (Repeating the words of Jesus himself on the cross, when he prayed for those who were crucifying him, isn't that powerful? That's the kind of Lord He is...)
What about you? I'd love to hear some of the ways you handle it when you hear the Lord's name taken in vain.


Well, since writing this I've been really convicted about the "baby" swear words I mentioned above, not to mention my occasional stress-reliever F-bomb. Not exactly a holy example for those around me, even if my kids don't hear it. Sounds like a New Year resolution to me!

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