Texting and tweeting is responsible for a new written vocabulary. In order to limit the number of thumb pumps on a phone keyboard or to fit a message into the confines of 140 characters, we have created a new lingo.
Everybody knows that a humorous comment will be followed by lol (laugh out loud).
If one agrees with a statement, the keyboard version of a smiley face 🙂 offers a modern version of an amen.
Disagreement is rendered with a frowned face 🙁.
What should we think when we see one of the more popular texting shortcuts, OMG?
Surprise and wonder are all emotions expressed with these three letters. OMG stands for Oh, my God.
In its basic meaning this would be a great cry unto God. However, I do not recall ever seeing OMG used this way. More often than not is used in conjunction with something extreme, shocking or mind-boggling. It is usually a reaction to human behavior and not about an urgent plea to the creator of all that is. In fact, people are now verbalizing “OMG” in regular speech.
If this is the case, should we as Christians use this in our communication? I am suggesting that flippant uses of God and any of his names or titles is probably not in keeping with the commandment to avoid taking God’s name in vain. In vain describes something that is useless and empty of value. If we are using references to God when we are not really speaking of the awe inspiring ruler of all, then we are cheapening the name or the term.
Jesus instead taught us to pray that our Father would hallow or make holy his name. Will you learn to pray this way? Will you use speech in keeping with this prayer?
P.S. Some may argue that OMG stands for Oh My Gosh. Ok, if that makes you feel better…but what/who is a Gosh?
P.P.S. I know I have used OMG in my title and in my artwork. I hope this doesn’t raise questions about hypocrisy.