Things I Don’t Understand…Tattoos

Therbarb-1e are things in life that I just don’t understand.  I don’t understand the resurgence of tattoos, especially with Christians.

Let me tell you where I am coming from and then we can discuss it.  My mother had two diagonal tattoos of roses placed just above her breast and below her collar bones.  She got them before she became a Christian.  When she became a Christian, she was convicted by God about them, so she had them removed.  This was years before laser removal was possible, so she was left with ugly scars instead of red roses.  Her decision about trying to please God through her actions made an impact upon my thinking on the subject.

I think I would quickly get bored with a tattoo.  I change my computer wallpaper after a weeks’ time, so I can’t imagine liking something on my skin for the rest of my life.  And what if the tattoo artist makes a mistake or I make a mistake about declaring my unending love for ‘________’ only to find someone else a year later.  If I am going to write on my skin, I want to have everything exactly right.  According to The Tattoo Removal Institute, it is estimated between 17% to 50% eventually regret having their body tattoo.

Then there is health concerns.  If the needles are not properly sanitized, diseases can be transmitted.  A University of Texas study shows those with tattoos are nine times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C.  And the dyes used may be detrimental to your health as well.

I don’t understand the need for marking your body with a tattoo.  Some would to express their independence or their rebellion.  Some would give in to peer pressure or to mark a special event, that may not even be relevant next month, but who would want a portrait of Justin Bieber on their calf or “Mitt Romney 2012” on their scalp for the rest of their life?

I have room for those who use tattoos to cover scars created through surgeries.  My heart goes out to them, because they are trying to hold themselves together from something that was created beyond their control.  I can understand that.

As I think about the amount of people who are covering their bodies and faces (I especially don’t understand tattoos on the face), I ask myself, “What are they trying to tell me?”  “What are they saying about themselves?” “What does this say about our society?”

I think what it says is that we have become very self-centered.  The world revolves around me.  Some are saying “Look at me!! I’m tough or I’m a part of____ or I need attention, please acknowledge me!”  I don’t understand why putting a tattoo on you would satisfy your need.

And to the Christian, why do you have them?  I know Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.” I don’t think you are remembering the dead (though I did see a man on TV get one to remember his son) and seeking to appease pagan gods on behalf of the dead.  The focus is on “I am the Lord”.  He is where your strength comes from.

If you got I tattoo before your salvation, I don’t think you have to remove it.  I would suggest it be used as a testimony tool and tell how God changed your life.  I guess I really don’t understand why Christian would want to get one.   Colossians 3:17 says,”17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ESV  My question would be “does it honor the Lord?  Is He pleased with this?”  To me, that’s the important thing!

If you have tattoos, please don’t think I am speaking badly about you.  I’m not placing a judgment on you. I would like to know your thought process and understand how things happened.  Do you ever regret having it done?  Are you looking to add more?

Let me hear from you, give me your thoughts.

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