Darn It!

Vol. 7, No. 08 – February 27, 2022 – Darn It

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 –Exodus 20:7. 

In my youth, I was a counselor in a Boy Scout Camp. I was working on my merit badges toward my Eagle rank. I was also working on my God and Country Award. If that was not enough, I had been initiated in the Order of the Arrow, and within a year was elected to Chief of the Lou Ott Lodge, Order of the Arrow.

I thought well of myself. I was unsaved.

In my second year as a counselor at the Camp (I taught canoeing, crafts, and outdoor cooking), I and another Scout made a trash run to a local landfill. It had rained, so the area was muddy. We had to dump large filled, trash barrels over the side of a pit—a large trench carved out by a bulldozer. I slipped on the mud and went over the side with the trash barrel. I had to walk out the end of the trench back to the pick-up truck.

My first words to the Scout who was with me: Darn it!

Now, for a Scout working on his God and Country award, what I said was not a good response. But I did not use words in vain—at least I did not think so. Nor, at the moment, consider what I had said. It was not bad . . . was it? It was.

Strange that years later, after I married, and then received Christ as my Savior, my mind drifted back on my earlier life. The scene at the landfill came to mind. Had I, in my speaking, denigrated holy God. Yes, I had. Of course, God provides a method to bring those kinds of things before Him. Which I did. I was forgiven when I accepted Christ; however, my heart was reminding me of the things Christ died for. So, I spoke to Him about it.

I did not use the actual word that I replaced with the word, darn. But I really knew what I meant in my mind and heart. Therein laid the problem.

And the “teachable moment” reared its ugly head again in my life.

Maybe your experiences have not been the same, but you have had experiences that are just as memorable. Why is it that we have to learn things over and over? You would think we would learn the first time. Why do we repeat our bad experiences?

I could tell you of some other teachable moments in my life, but I want to save them for some future book if I ever sit down to write another one. My editor retired, and besides, there are some things I do not want her to know. She is my dear wife by the way. So, you surely understand.

Has your heart ever seemed to be beating out of your chest as you find yourself not respecting the holiness of God? The God who sent His one and only Son to die for you? My heart has done that.

Sometimes, it beats like that, and God gives me the opportunity to visit with Him.

Life Application

You may not know this; I am a Baptist. Baptists and a few others have a tendency to use the word darn. That is not a good thing. Some Presbyterians (and some Methodists), and probably some others, down South, chose dang. That is not good either. A Charismatic gentleman that worked on my house (he was an electrician), stapled his finger; his response—Glory to God!

I am not sure what that last response was in place of.

So, what is the application for our lives? It is that the utterances we give, should in fact give glory to our Almighty God. There is no substitute for what God is to us. This is not a result of our study or the people around us who gravitate toward us. It is a matter of who we are in Him

We live in a world that is desperate (although some do not know it), to know the God we love. He is full of love, grace, and mercy. It is available to us from Him, and Him alone.

Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil [in life]? In all this Job did not sin with his lips –Job 2:10

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

February 27, 2022

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