"She said 'O.M.G.'" our innocent little child whispered.
A bit relieved, I investigated deeper. "Did she actually say 'O.M.G,' or did she say the words 'Oh My God?'" I asked.
"She said 'Oh my gosh.'"
Our other two kids looked to see our reaction, I suspect curious to see if that really was profanity or not. By this time my wife was smiling at me, and I tried hard not to laugh out loud. I wasn't going to tell my children that there was nothing wrong with using that phrase, because my wife and I are the ones who taught them not to say it. Now, before I go any farther, I know there are some readers who are thinking "What?! You teach your kids that 'gosh' is a bad word?" Actually, what I said to them was something like "Most people don't think there is anything wrong with saying that, so they are not trying to be bad. It's okay if you let them know that you aren't allowed to say that, but you don't need to think bad of your teacher for saying 'gosh.'"
Let me try to explain the problem I have with "gosh" and then I will give some thoughts regarding the actual phrase "Oh my God." Quite simply, "gosh" sounds a whole lot like "God." Sometimes you can't tell which of the two words a person used. So, even if there was nothing wrong with "gosh," I wouldn't want to say it because someone might misunderstand me.
Okay, enough about that. Now, what about the actual phrase "Oh my God?" What is so wrong with it? For starters, there are many people who say "My God!" who have never accepted the God of the Bible as their God. To be able to say He is "my God," or "my Lord," or "my Savior..." is a very special privilege. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost (interesting...I'm not sure I have ever heard anyone use the Holy Ghost as a cuss word), I believe you should only call Him yours if He is yours!
But if you are a believer, and you have called on Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you still should not use His name flippantly! This is one of the first commandments by the way, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exodus 20:7)." You would have to be trying awfully hard to excuse your sin to explain away this verse.
You might say "But I'm not using His name, 'God' is just a title!" It is true, I have never heard someone use the name "Jehovah" as an explicative. I have never heard anyone use "I AM" either (that would be weird). However, I have heard "God Almighty." I have also heard, many times, the name that is supposed to be exhalted above all others used as a cuss word--"Jesus Christ." "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9)"
You see, a name is much more than just a title, it is who the title represents. There are lots of people in this world with the name "Jesus" (pronounced "Hey-soos" in Spanish), but when we say "Jesus" as an explicative, everyone knows Who we are talking about. The same is true if you use the title "God" or "Lord."
How big of a deal you make out of this subject is up to you. It is not my intention to guilt you or to look down my nose at you (although my kids might try to correct you if they hear it). Rather, I want to encourage you to think about what you are saying . Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
Most importantly, I want you to ask yourself "Is He really my God?" The greatest peace in the world comes from being able to legitimately cry out to the Lord, "Oh My God!" and NOT be cussing. Consider the following verses:
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13)
(Speaking of Jesus ) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
That is the proper way to use His name. Call upon Him to save you. After that, you should use His name to praise Him and to witness to others!
"Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God" Luke 12:8