With the advent of cell phones, texting, and online chat, an abbreviated form of language has emerged. Texters and chatters regularly communicate with shortcuts like "lol" (laugh out loud) or "idk" (I don't know).

For the most part, these abbreviations are harmless. One popular shortcut, however, is truly offensive to believers in Jesus, "omg." The most common meaning given to this abbreviation is the expression "Oh, my God."

Should we be concerned by its use? Or are we making something out of nothing? Consider this: Although the Bible doesn't legalistically regulate every single word that comes out of our mouths, it does plainly state that we are not to use God's name in a way that regards it as trivial (Exodus 20:7). Even though blurting out "Oh, my God" or texting and e-mailing "omg" have become socially acceptable, they're still examples of using God's name wrongly. It boils down to an issue of respect. To refer to the God of the universe in this manner, even as an expression of shock or surprise, is flippant and dishonoring. It treats "the name above all other names" (Philippians 2:9) as irrelevant, as if it carries little weight or special meaning. To be fair, some may not intend to use "omg" in this way. They may believe that it is an innocent expression that, for them, means "Oh, my goodness." Given how it's most widely used and interpreted, however, it would be wise to use another abbreviation.

God's name is to be revered, not to be misused or treated as meaningless. Whenever we refer to God, may we reflect the spirit of the psalmist who wrote, "Honor the Lord for the glory of His name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness" (Psalm 29:2). , Jeff Olson, Our Daily Journey

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