He’s just ten years old. From what little I’ve seen of his home life, I know he has a step-dad that struggles to get him to listen. The same holds true for his mother—she gets thoroughly exasperated trying to reign him in. So, I’m not surprised when Jimmy* challenges my authority on the court. But I was caught off guard when he repeatedly said “good God Almighty” over and over as we practiced shooting hoops. He was looking for a reaction from me and I obliged.
“Jimmy, don’t say that.”
“Why not, coach.”
“Because what you are doing is disrespectful to God.”
He didn’t say anything more. Why? Because, I suspect in his heart he knew his words were wrong and Someone far greater was at work in his conscience.
Exodus 20:7--Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
One of the reasons why I enjoy being around children is the tenderness towards God that still exists even in those with no spiritual background. That innocence seeps away in most as they gain increasing exposure to a society whose quest seems to mock God at all costs. Sin-hardened lives resist a holy Judge and His absolute plan of salvation.
Sometimes I wonder if we realize how numb we become to the effects of our culture. As God’s children we ought to stay tender towards Him. The evidence of our softhearted love is a fierce desire to uphold His holy name. Does that sound contradictory? Adoring is not a sign of weakness. It is a courageous stand that zealously proclaims, “I’ll lay down my life for You because You are worthy.”
We wouldn’t let our children address those in authority with a casual “hey dude!” So we shouldn’t oblige people disrespecting God while we shrug as if it didn’t really matter. One of the ways we reveal our love for Christ is to take a stand for His name. It hurts when God’s name is misused. I imagine it hurts Him even more when we are too ashamed to speak up. Don’t be afraid to tell your co-workers or your unsaved family members that you would appreciate it if they would desist from swearing. They may mock you. They may not comply. But you may cause them to consider God. You’ll identify yourself as an ambassador. You most certainly will be credited in heaven. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
The majority of us make the character of God out of our own heads; therefore He does not amount to anything at all.—Oswald Chambers in The Shadow of an Agony
*Not his real name.
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)