I hear it everywhere. In lines. At restaurants. In movies. At the basketball games. Especially at the basketball games… where we have season tickets for our family! But, it’s everywhere. His Holy name casually being thrown around as vile profanity.
I'm sure you’ve heard it too. It makes me cringe in offense. My body physically responds similarly to the sound of finger nails dragged violently against a chalk board. Fists clenched. Back arched. Face contorted. Smile set to sneer. I am ready for battle.
But, what to do?
Shoot a look that will instantly slice them into a 100 tiny, painful pieces?
Chew them out verbally hoping to publicly humiliate them?
Break out my bible and share the gospel, hoping that they’ll drop to their knees on the spot?
None of that works. The dirty look goes unnoticed or only serves to spur them on. Giving them earful usually only gets a double earful back. And sharing the gospel, well you can imagine how well that would go over. I’ve come to the realization that judging, condemning and admonishing the lost serves no purpose, but to gratify my own sinful urges.
So, what should we do?
Well, this won’t surprise you, but the Bible gives us instructions on how to handle these rocky situations. And it also won’t surprise you to hear that it’s not them we need to learn how to handle it’s us.
We need to…
Exhibit self-control in the midst of outrage.
“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)
Be thoughtful and cautious with our words.
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Eclesiastes 5:2 (NLT)
Pray for the lost.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. .. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1,3-4 (NLT)
Getting into a verbal altercation with unbelievers in a noble attempt to “defend” God does not bring Him glory. In fact it tempts us into sin. Since when does God need us to defend Him? Never!
The best thing to do is pray. Right there. At the scene. Pray. And somehow knowing that’s all I can do gives me peace. That truth is like cooling water on my burning anger. Bringing me to a place of purpose, where I am filled with mercy and compassion for the souls of the lost.
How about you? Have you encountered God’s name being misused? How have you handled it?