By: Sabrina Peters
To a regular person “tattoos” are no biggie. Getting inked is in. It’s cool, artistic, prolific in our generation. It’s a way to express yourself, your individuality, your passions, your pleasures, your causes, your people or just your girlfriend’s name on your bicep.
But if you’re a Christian it can cause quite the controversy. Here are just some of the comments I received when I got inked.
“Wish the Holy Spirit would let me get a tattoo.”
“Tattoos are outer demonstrations of inner rebelliousness, disobedience, ignorance and an attitude that is willing to turn a blind eye to the Word of God.”
“Why would you ruin your beautiful skin?”
“What you have done is blasphemous, sacrilegious, improper, distasteful and insulting. Beyond that, it is a mockery of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I thought the bible says your body is a temple?”
Why would you ruin your beautiful skin?
I ain’t gonna lie. I wanted to smash skulls LOL. But that’s not nice and I want to be a nice person and at the end of the day people are totally entitled to their opinion, as am I.
Is it just a matter of opinion?
So if you’re reading this, well this is my opinion.
When it comes to tattoos, I don’t think it’s a sin and I don’t think you’re less of a Christian if you have one. Your actions don’t get you to heaven and tattoos don’t send you to hell (that might seem a little over the top but you’d be surprised at how many young people write to me asking that exact question!). There is one way up and one name that saves. Starts with ‘J’. Ends in ‘s’. It’s the sweetest name I’ve ever known. Jesus.
So let’s talk about the the verse people use in the great ink debate.
Leviticus 19:28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos.”
So yes – there is a verse in the bible that says you shouldn’t get a tattoo. But like everything written in scripture it needs to be read in complete context. In this particular passage, God is asking His people (the Israelites) to set themselves apart from pagan rituals that defined many of the surrounding nations. These customs were seen as ungodly and corrupt and God wanted His people to be evidently different. I believe this verse is written to a specific group of people at a specific point in history and is addressing a cultural issue of the day and age.
When we understand this and truly take a hold of it, our hearts are transformed and our actions follow!
This passage also includes:
“Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood.”
“Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.”
“Do not mate different kinds of animals.”
“Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.”
Actions make a more lasting mark
Are people that say tattoos are a sin seriously claiming they don’t eat red meat? Or shave? Or wear cotton? I don’t think so!
We can’t just pick and choose what we obey. We either submit and obey the entire law (including like a billion precepts) and keep it all, or we realise that we now live under the New Covenant of grace, and because of this we are free!
So when it comes to tattoos, it’s between you and God.
What we do doesn’t make us right with God but what Jesus did already has. When we understand this and truly take a hold of it, our hearts are transformed and our actions follow!
We no longer obey because we have too, we obey because we want too! Grace doesn’t twist your arm it actually makes you want to live right. So when it comes to tattoos, it’s between you and God.
So, Christian teenager If you’re thinking of inking it’s OK, just ask yourself these questions first.
1: What do my parents think about it?
If your parents say NO then I would say um… NO. If you live at home, you are still under your parents roof and they are your authority. Submitting to your authority is a good thing! If people you look up to and respect say it’s not a good idea. Listen. When I wanted a tattoo, I asked my husband and my senior pastor if it was cool. If they would have said no, I wouldn’t have done it.
2. Why do I want one?
If peer pressure, fitting in or pleasing other people are a part of your answer, I’d ask you to reconsider. Whenever you do anything to please the crowd you set yourself up to be disappointed. Do it for yourself and for your own personal reasons, not to impress other people.
3. Am I OK with having this permanently on my body?
A tattoo is permanent (unless of course you wanna spend some big bucks on laser and go through a lot of pain and possible scars). Don’t do it impulsively, don’t do it drunk or under the influence of any substance. If you’re a Christian I would say anything overtly sexual or explicit is probably not appropriate.
Think about how it affects others and lastly really think about what you’re getting; a tattoo is like wearing the same t-shirt everyday.
You don’t want any ‘ragrets’ like this guy…
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters. About the author: Sabrina is a new generation speaker and author and former youth pastor of 9 years. Her passion is Jesus, relationships and sexuality.