1 “The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘I am the Lord your God! 3 You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; you must not walk in their statutes. 4 You must observe my regulations and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. I am the Lord your God. 5 So you must keep my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. I am the Lord.”
“You must not slash your body for a dead person or incise a tattoo on yourself. I am the Lord.“
We are surrounded by voluminous propaganda today regarding how we should live. Some tout alterations to their body as freedom, and hurl insults at anyone who would say they cannot do what they want to their bodies. The world might choose to honor satan with their bodies, but we who belong to God are called to be different. Our bodies and the very life we have been given is not our own, if we have surrendered to Christ.
Pervasive among us are recommendations made – piercings, tattoos, clothing, lifestyle – which all mirror and glorify our culture or society, not the God in whose image we were made. What is appealing about marking our skin with ink, which never washes off? I do not know. Perhaps it is a status symbol, a mark of rebellion or daring to do so? Not something I typically boast about. Maybe it is acceptance with others who have chosen to mark themselves in that way. Much as we like to sanitize the origin of the tattoo and consider it harmless, the roots of tattoos are founded in the occult and paganism. We cannot sugar coat this fact for political correctness, and dare not gloss over it as insignificant. We must not be negligent and “go with the flow”, thinking it does not matter. Little by little our resolve and convictions can be whittled away until we forget where the compromise began. It all matters to God.
God punctuates His command to not tattoo our bodies by saying it is He who said it. It is not man’s opinion that should sway us, but God Almighty Who made us in His image. Lastly, can you picture Jesus sporting a tattoo? To those who would argue that this is the Old Testament, Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. God does not change.
If you are reading this and have had tattoos done, God forgives you. Turn away from that behavior and honor God with your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t make excuses or try to justify your behavior. We all fall short in many ways, but God can use those very shortcomings to bring God glory. Holiness still looks the same today as it did thousands of years ago. Changing cultures and time do not take away from God’s precepts. Dare to be Holy, not to indulge the flesh.
Lord, help us to live for Your glory and to not rationalize what holiness might look like in today’s society and to boldly for you. May we not walk in ignorance, but in wisdom.