You’ve probably heard it–OMG, three letters, is like so many other things referred to with three letters–CIA, IRS, FBI, WHO, AOL, MSN, NBC, CBS, ABC, BBB, FCC, HIV, MTV, MSG, HCL, thus QED. All these acronyms are acceptable in usage, if people you are speaking to know what they mean. But, OMG is far different. OMG, that is O my God, is used in the Psalms as in Psalm 22 “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” (Psalm 22: 2 ESV) The acronym OMG is the worst example of the trivialization of something very important and significant, in fact the most important reality of all, the Lord God of heaven and earth. That OMG has come into common use is a sign of the spiritual condition of America. We have slipped from using ‘O my God” carelessly to using simply OMG–a shortcut, an abbreviation, an abridgement that indicates disrespect.
Who would have conceived of such a slide into the depths? It is a contemporary example of disrespect for God. The commandment clearly states, “You shall not take the Name of the Lord Your God in vain.” OMG comes off the lips of many people who have no idea of the insult to the holy God that it is. God is not needy or dependent on what we do or say. God does not need our worship; but, He calls on us to give Him praise. We are the ones who need to worship God for our spiritual health. But, more importantly, we are to worship Him; because, God has command us to. He has created and redeemed us. He can make the claim.
The sacred is not only cast off as inconsequential, but also reviled in this use of the acronym. What should we do if someone is using it in our presence? The easier thing is to ignore what is being said. Or, with gentleness and respect, we could take exception and explain, in as helpful and humble way as we can, why we object to its use. The harder way is the latter. This response could cause conflict which most of us wish to avoid. It could cause suffering; but, we are blessed if we suffer for righteousness’ sake (I Peter 3: 13ff) Isn’t there enough conflict in today’s world? Isn’t it too much trouble to get tangled up in words? There is too much conflict; but, words and how we use them are weighty. If we take a laid back attitude to such things, we are leaving the public environment to the base and profane.
God claims the whole world that He has created. We are instruments of His reclamation until the end comes and He is all in all (I Corinthians 15). The Lord uses us to recapture sacred space. Now, don’t misunderstand. The whole world belongs to God one way or another. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139: 7 ESV) These are rhetorical questions whose obvious correct answer is “Nowhere.” By His very nature God is not restricted in time or place. He is omnipresent.
Let us, therefore, push back as the great Southern writer, Flannery O’Connor, counsels us.
October 24, 2023