That angry young man standing in front of me needs a dictionary to expand his vocabulary, I thought, overhearing the “f” word in every sentence. Here he was, standing impatiently in a long line at a busy grocery story, shooting off profanities because he was irritated at the slow checker.
Correcting my thoughts, I decided, he doesn’t need a dictionary. He needs Jesus. Then, glancing up at him, I was startled to see his tattoos. Ironically, he had a big black cross plastered on each arm and on his left chubby leg, there a tattooed fish symbol, an IXOYE, the Greek fish symbol acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.“
His body markings represented Christianity, but what came out of his mouth marked him with the world. He spoke a mixed message, just like the guy who drives around in traffic with the bumper sticker, “Honk if you love Jesus,” but he’s yelling four-letter words at the other drivers.
Tattoos and body piercing are everywhere today. It used to be, mostly, motorcycle gangs and hardened criminals who sported them. Now you see them on the sweet mannered nursery schoolteacher who has one on her back just above her pants’ belt, on display as she bends down to tie a child’s shoelace.
Even Christians are flocking to tattoo and piercing parlors. What about tattoos? Does God have anything to say about them? In Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) we read, "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord."
Besides tattooing, young people are marring their bodies with multiple body piercing including multiple ear, nose, tongue, eyebrow and navel jewels and rings attached to their pierced flesh. God’s word, in Deuteronomy 14:1 (Amplified) says, "You are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.". From this verse we can see that body piercing is another form of rebellion.
So you say, that’s Old Testament and we’re living under grace. In 2 Corinthians 19-20 (Amplified) , we’re told “ Do you not know that your body is the temple (the sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own. Therefore honor God with your body,"
In the New Testament an even high law calls us. We are to have God's laws written in our hearts. If you’ve been baptized into the family of God and have taken Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you are already marked for Christ---not on your flesh, but in your heart. If you’re a Christian and already have a tattoo or the many body piercing so popular with today‘s pop culture, I’m not here to judge you. Just don’t continue and warn others who may be thinking of following the trend. If you realize that it wasn’t God’s plan for you, know that God is a loving and forgiving God, and is more than ready to forgive you.
Because tattoos have their roots in witchcraft, many young people do not realize that they‘re opening the door to bad influences in their lives. Satan doesn‘t blatantly come out and blast you, but he‘s subtle. Because it‘s trendy, even Christians are tattooing themselves. But, you say, it’s not a big deal. Well, even if you believe it’s just a little thing, too many young people are compromising their Christian values on “little things”. As a result, they’ve opened the door to more rebellion and compromise, and before long they’re far from God. It’s similar to the analogy of placing a frog in warm water. As you gradually turn up the water temperature, it doesn’t die immediately, but before long, the poor frog‘s fried. His life is gone.
It’s far worse to die spiritually. Rather than following the pop culture and compromising on God’s Word, remember that you’re marked for Christ and have a high calling on your life. Let the mark of Christ on your heart, your inner man, be visible through your words and actions. It’s that inward marking that needs to show through to the world---not a tattooed cross or a cross hanging from an ear piercing from your naval.