Core Value 32: Are tattoos a problem?


Core Christian Value

The Scriptures say, “no tattoo marks.” The trend towards tattoos seems to be a significant mistake. Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. No intentional scars, no indelible marks.

The Scriptures only mention the word “tattoo” once. Listen: You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD. LEVITICUS 19:28 NKJV. In most cases, the Bible places the “cutting of the flesh” in the context of making permanent visible marks on your skin in honor or memory of the dead. You have seen pictures of some cultures that intentionally scar themselves.

Let’s approach this issue in a different light. Why would you refrain from making indelible and intentional marks on your body? Here is one possible explanation offered by the apostle Paul: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 NKJV

To stay with that theme, let’s listen to further advice from Paul: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ROMANS 12:1-2 NKJV

Do you feel that at times we are trying too hard to “conform to this world?” What does it mean to “conform”? Is the failure to conform a source of discomfort, of not fitting in? The answer is often yes; it is not fun to not “fit in”.

The Scriptures promise that you will feel out of step with the decisions made by non-Christians. “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven…” LUKE 6:22-23 NKJV

The apostle John quotes Jesus and says: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” JOHN 15:18-19 NKJV. John then says: “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” 1 JOHN 3:13 NKJV. And finally Jesus makes the same point in the Gospel of MARK: “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” MARK 13:13 NKJV

“Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 JOHN 3:1-3 NKJV

When you meet Jesus face to face, how do you want to appear? Are your judgments about your appearance, right now, based on what you think that Jesus will say when He meets you? The verses above says, “we shall be like Him” and “He is pure”. Jesus is the yardstick by which we must measure our conduct and our appearance. When you feel tough decisions are upon you, fall back on the basic question, “what would Jesus do?” Then seek His counsel and guidance and do what He would do.


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