We often hear words like "gosh," "gee," and similar words in conversation today. Although they may sound innocent enough, we should avoid using them. Why? Because these words are euphemisms for the names of God and Jesus Christ - look them up in your dictionary. A euphemism is "the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensively blunt or harsh" (Random House Dictionary of the English Language).
We are told in Exodus 20:7, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." In other words, we should not use God’s name in any disrespectful or irreverent way. This includes using God’s name in the form of a euphemism.
The scriptures illustrate that God places great importance on His name. In Isaiah 9:6, He is called "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"—all terms of honor and reverence.
The Psalms are full of praise for God’s name. "Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH, and rejoice before Him." (Psalm 68:4). "Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; his glory is above the earth and heaven" (Psalm 148:13). "Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious" (Psalm 66:1–2).
If we casually use God’s name, or a euphemism for God’s name, to express shock, surprise, or even profanity, we are actually showing contempt for the Creator of the Universe.
In contrast, through the prophet Malachi, God said, "But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).
In what ways should we use God’s name? In the New Testament, Christ instructed His disciples to pray to God the Father through His name. "And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13). And when we pray, we should give honor to God’s name. "In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name" (Matthew 6:9).
The disciples healed the sick through the name of Jesus Christ. "Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’" (Acts 3:6). James instructed the church to continue to follow that example. He said, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14).
In the book of Acts, we read that the disciples preached the Gospel through the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 9:15), and baptized in Christ’s name (Acts 8:16, 19:5).
Paul told the church at Ephesus, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).
The words we use are important to God. We should ensure that our speaking reflects our honor and reverence for Him.