welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
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To ink.....or not to ink.....



......that has been a question tossed around lately.

So as you all know, I am a fan of tattoos. Last week, I shared the last one I got done. I enJOY my tattoos, they make me smile when I look at them, I reflect on what they mean to me/what they represent. Some of mine are in places that others cannot see for the most part, this recent one is on my inner wrist, clear and plain for the world to see....They are my own personal expression. I love Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!

I also understand and respect that not everyone feels the same as me when it comes to tattoos. In fact, many good Christians frown upon them and sometimes condemn those of us who have them or want to get them.

I would like to add this disclaimer that I do not claim to have any theological background at all, remember, my favorite version of the Bible is the Children's One I read with my kids. I am just going to speak from my heart and how I am understanding God's Word.


I have heard the verse in Leviticus 19:28 be used as a basis for many. "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."

It was explained to me that God is warning the Jewish people about a pagan practice at funerals, where people would mutilate/mark themselves to appease their false gods. Apparently as a form of grieving, they rubbed the ashes of their deceased loved ones into the wounds as a sign of respect and also so that they were "carrying" them with them. Another theory is that they hoped that by cutting themselves and marking images/symbols of idols on their bodies, that they would obtain favor in the afterlife from their false gods, both for themselves and for those who just died.

It is also interesting that when Leviticus is followed to the letter, other passages in Leviticus warn the people from cutting their hair or trimming their beards, wearing clothes that are made of a mix of textiles and growing certain crops beside each other; ( ie, the "mingling" of seed). So what about the man who shaves and wears polyester?

Here is another angle from me and how I think. When also referring to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,"

When talking recently with a friend (who is a youth pastor and tattooed as well)....he reminded me that you destroy your "temple" by allowing sin to run rampant in your life. Whether you are tattooed or not.....I believe it is more about who you are, what is in your heart.... how you treat others. We all know unfortunately of the many hypocrites in Christianity. Jesus reminds us that you can clean the outside of the cup and if the inside is dirty, it means nothing.

Ultimately, it is all about your personal relationship with Jesus. I would like to believe (again *my* interpretations/beliefs....) that if Jesus was hanging around here with us, he'd be wearing his sandals, sporting a few cool tattoos and have some awesome dreadlocks. (sorry, the hippie in me is coming out)


So I guess I'll wrap it up with this......I believe Romans 14:23 where it reminds us that anything that does not come from faith is sin. My tattoos come from my faith and my love for Jesus Christ. I have no regrets.

I would love to hear how you all feel about tattoos.......you know I keep it real, so I encourage you to do the same. Remember, I have my big girl panties on, so no worries about "agreeing to disagree" with this topic. If I couldn't handle all opinions, I wouldn't choose to put this out here and ask. I think as long as your comments are shared from what you truly feel in your heart and not out to slam any of our brothers/sisters opinions and beliefs........ there is no right or wrong response.

Thanks!

*~Michelle~*

44 comments:

Wayne said...

I like this blog :)

Joyce said...

I enjoyed reading your perspective and the reasons behind your tattoos. I personally don't have any but I can certainly appreciate different strokes for different folks...I guess I never thought there was anything unbiblical about them (other than ones that blatantly promote something unbiblical of course).

I know people who have them and people who don't. I don't think we can judge a person's character or the state of their spiritual health based on whether or not they have tattoos...we're all sinners in need of God's grace.
Thanks for sharing...something interesting to think about this morning. Enjoy your day. And your tattoos : )

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Michelle: I know both inked and non-inked people. Some of the most inked have a profound effect upon me while those who are non-inked but call themselves "Christians" are a big turn off. I believe it is up to each individual. The man who does my banners for my blog (dandrewes.com) has tats. He loves Jesus. My wife frowns on me getting one (I would want a Celtic cross on my left or right delt) so I respect & honor her. I was especially glad to see the correct interpretation of that Scripture not only in Leviticus but especially in corinthians. I believe paul had our inward man more in mind than what we were on the outside. Thanks for a refreshing post.

JC Dude said...

Appreciate your take on this...you could say it left a "mark" on me. Seriously tho' I wouldn't get one but I don't see the problems with people choosing to do so.

Peace,
Jay

~*Michelle*~ said...

Thanks!

Bill....I have to say I let out a little "phew" when you commented about how I interpreted those Scriptures. Sometimes I wonder if it's just my ADD brain trying to filter it all through, and that can be scary sometime, LOL.

Freedom's Fire said...

“One will say, I am the Lord’s; and another will call himself by the name of Jacob; and another will write [even brand or tattoo] upon his hand, I am the Lord’s, and surname himself by the [honorable] name of Israel.” (Isaiah 44:5 AMP)

~*Michelle*~ said...

Jay..thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate how you, like Joyce mentions, have the "different strokes for different folks" opinion.

:)

~*Michelle*~ said...

Freedom Fire:

YAY! Love that and thank you for that verse!

I *AM* the Lord's!!!!!!!!!

Kristina P. said...

As you probably know, I am Mormon (we are Christian.) Our church does sort of frown on tattoos, because the body is a temple thing.

But, it's not like we would get excommunicated or anything like that. It's really a personal decision. I sort of like tattoos, myself.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Thanks Kristina, you are one of my favorite Mormon friends! {{{hugs}}} As you know...I am teasing you calling you a "Mormon" friend, (or Protestant, Baptist, etc) because I believe we are all Christians and are part of the same family. I actually never thought Mormon was not Christian, do alot of people think that?

anyway...I love that you know you can be honest and share here at my place. And agree, it's a personal decision either way. :)

Joshua said...

Well since people are entitled to their opinion on the tat's since you asked, I think it is fine,(AND HOT).

People can either accept you for who you are on the inside or not. Not what you wear or tatoo's, etc.
An important lesson here is for others not to "judge" you by what they see on the outside.

To live biblically today is almost an impossibility so you need to free yourself from any guilt that maybe you should not have done it or if it goes against God's word. There is so much about the Bible that is open to interpetation and opinion but I know this, the Bible is about YOU.

I love you and again, that tatoo is so HOT!

~*Michelle*~ said...

Awwwwwwwww, I love you too, Babe!

(*yes, the only man allowed to call me "HOT" is my husband, LOL)

~*Michelle*~ said...

*and this is coming from a man who is not pierced/tattooed up. Go figure.

RCUBEs said...

I personally don't like them but who am I to judge if that is what God is placing in someone's heart? Like what you said, it's about the conditions of our hearts. We must be careful not to put out the work of the Spirit through a believer. We will always have differences with what we believe or with opinions. But what matters is if the Lord is using someone or some believers for His glory even thru tattoos, why condemn it? Because you just don't know when some who sees your wrist with the Word on it, will wonder and the heart starts seeking Him? Blessings to you sister. You go and show your love for the Lord!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Hello Sister Michelle

In my opinion it's a matter of conscience between the person and God.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

God bless you, Ron

Loren said...

Michelle ~ your life, your heart and even your tattoos point people to the Lord! Why would there be a problem???? :) Ink away my friend! Ink away

~*Michelle*~ said...

Rosel:

" Because you just don't know when some who sees your wrist with the Word on it, will wonder and the heart starts seeking Him? "

Exactly, my friend! Gunner has Philippians 4:13 (just that) very bold on his forearm and when someone asks him about it, he suggests they grab a Bible and check it out! Same thing with Hunter's other one on his arm.

hey Ron, thanks for your input, I loved how this question/topic was handled over at your place as well.

and I love the "ink away" from ya, Loren~!

Bina said...

I have two girlies who are quite taken with the thought of inking themselves and my only stance on it was to wait until they are older (as they were only 10 and 11 when they brought it up)...NOT because of anything more than waiting until you are mature enough to know what you are doing to your body.

To make a rash choice to mark yourself when you aren't able to easily take it back, in my opinion, is a mistake.

But as for the tats themselves, I think that many are beautiful and creative. I really think it depends on the mindframe of the person doing it.

Shark Bait said...

In Revelation 19:16 Jesus comes back to us with King of King Lord of Lords written on his thigh.

I don't know if that counts as a tattoo, but it sounds pretty cool.

In Isaiah 49:16 God says to his people "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands"

My reading of the New Testament (Especially Ephesians 2:5 and similar) leads me to believe that my relationship with HIM is governed by love and grace, not what I put into (or on) my body. So just as I feel comfortable that I can avoid eternal damnation for eating pork, I feel a tattoo might be acceptable to a Christian who is not convicted otherwise in their Spirit

Shark Bait said...

The only concern I do have is the injunction in Peter that our actions should not lead our weaker brother into sin. If covering myself with tattoos is going to compromise my witness, maybe I should think twice about it.

But the same could be said for drinking or wearing shorts in public. Many people would doubt by Christian bona fides if they saw me doing either, although my conscience is clear on both points.

All things are permitted, but not all things are beneficial.

~*Michelle*~ said...

So weird you just referenced that particular Scripture, SB.....I was just talking about this to my brother in law this afternoon.

My thoughts are that if the context/images of the tattoos are "Biblical" based (if that makes sense) and an expression of the persons' love of Christ and to glorify Him....I am trusting/believing that it won't compromise my ability to witness. Even in the week that I have had this new one on my wrist, I have had three opportunities to witness, including the guy at the Post Office who asked what it was and what it meant. When I told him, he said in a teasing way.....I knew there was something different about you! And that is why you are always smiling, you are one of *those* "Jesus Freaks"!"

I proudly said with the biggest smile ever.....why yes I am!

christy rose said...

Personally, I cannot imagine ever having or desiring to have a tatoo. Bur I have no problem with people that do. I think you are wonderful!!!!! And I believe that the Word of God is written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit and He lives in you. So let His Word lead and guide you and LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY!!! :)

Shirl said...

Well, Hon, you've already heard my tattoo story. A painful lesson learned. It's just ink. It's just ink.

photogr said...

Tattos.

It is one's personal preference to have tattos if one pays for it their self. What others think is of no concern to the one having the tatto. I would find it a bit hypicritical of others to judge one with tattos based only for having tattos.

Not my cup of tea but am considering one to hide a recent cancer surgery skin graft that looks pretty bad.

Angela said...

I praise God I didn't get my first tattoe until I was 40..because if I started earlier I would be completely full body! Yepper,lol. AND definitely would not be one's that were glorifying to God. The one I have now is a cross that means eternal peace and love. I am still on a mission to get more, just haven't found the right ones yet. More crosses, with scriptures added to them.

I love the two comments that shared those scriptures..the one with the branded/tattoe,,and the one where our Father has inscribed our names on Him..SIGH.....

So I guess you figured out my take on tattoes,lol

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, tattoos aren't my thing, but Jesus is. Thus, I don't get too hung up on expressing faith via this route. It's the inward pulse that matters, not the exterior, but I have often wondered about the "why" behind a tattoo. But don't let that stop you. I suppose I tattoo myself with other adornments that have others asking questions as well.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today; you're always welcome there. I'm always glad to meet another sister on the road of grace. What a good season to be on pilgrimage with so many other believers. God is the unifying force for us all!

peace~elaine

goatpod2 said...

Hey Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by my blog, used to raise Nigerian Dwarf goats now we raise Mini-Nubians which is a cross breed of a Nigerian Dwarf buck and a Nubian doe, I live here on our farm with my parent's.

~*~Amy~*~

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

I wouldn't personally get a tattoo as I feel that the body is the temple of God, but then again I put a lot of junk in my body with food so I can't call the kettle black right? I personally know several people that have tattoos that are great Christians. :D Great to meet you!

thegypsymama said...

"you destroy your "temple" by allowing sin to run rampant in your life. Whether you are tattooed or not.." - this, yes, such truth.

~Lisa-Jo

LoveFeast Table said...

Sweet sista! This is the first time I've stopped by your hood and I have to say, I think I'll be comin back! You're walkin' in freedom! Tattoos or no tattoos, if we can all walk in the creative freedom that our Creator intended, oh, there'd be so much more life in His church! Your life is a living expression of His love for you! I don't know how that could be interpreted any other way!
I'll be back!
~kristin
ps...yes, I have tattoos too.

amanda said...

i've always wanted a tatoo. and then i don't. then i do. i don't see a problem with them at all. my mil on the other hand is way overboard against them, for non-biblical reasons. we can't judge someone because of the markings they have on them, isn't it the same as looking at a 'disfigured' person and judging them for how they look? to me it is. who cares? is my opinion. and i love your tatoo. and i showed shaun the picture of it on facebook, and he liked it too. and asked if josh was tatooed at all. but i read through some of your comments, and saw he wasn't. which sort of surprised me actually!! :) have a good weekend!!

Kim said...

Great post and I love ALL the comments!

Tracy said...

I totally appreciate what you're saying here Michelle. Your sweet heart of faith encourages me regularly.

Just something that I can't help but notice, when people are quoting the Leviticus 19:28 passage I'm always puzzled because we do not follow the Leviticus laws today. Do we show each other all those passages about if mildew gets into an object? My understanding is that these laws may have had some practical health and cultural benefits for God's people at that time and that it points to God's holiness for us. That Jesus has made us clean and as His followers we follow the law of love (love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, & soul and love your neighbor as yourself) that embodies the spirit of the law.

Faith Imagined said...

Fantastic post Michelle! I love all your insights especially on Leviticus 19:28. I had a friend ask about this very subject a few weeks ago and I am going to refer her to this article.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I shared a link to it on my FB and Twitter. I love your thoughts on this age-old debate! I have a tattoo on my wrist that I have been considering getting redone into a Christian tattoo. Your thoughts on this subject has helped me a lot!

Crissy
www.sanctifiedtogether.com

sherri said...

Enjoyed your post and the comments. One of my sons now has 6! One son has one, the other has none.

I was very upset when my first son got his first one, but now am not bothered by them at all. I've "loosened up" in my old age;).

Don't know what I was afraid of.

SO many other real "issues" to be concerned about. Like the issues of the heart.

Great job.

Warren Baldwin said...

Interesting post, Michelle. Personally, I'm not big on tatoos. But, I often use the tatoos others are sporting to start a conversation with them. A young clerk at a convenient store was covered in tatoos and chains. I complimented him on a couple of his tatoos and asked him if he just liked them or if they had special meaning to him. Well he got all excited that I asked and we had a great conversation. This would be a great way to open up a dilogue with someone to witness to them.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

I had to smile as I read your quote from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. I actually have a friend who has that verse tattooed on his back.

:-)

I think the more offensive act is when Christians shun people with tattoos. I would guess that Jesus would be more repulsed by that activity.

You're a Jesus-lovin' girl. Love you, sweetie.

L.L. Barkat said...

I was just talking about this with someone yesterday, and we were trying to remember the Jewish thinking on the subject.

Cool.

We were together in our thoughts. :)

Billy Coffey said...

Loved this post, Michelle. And I agree 100 percent.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I like your tats and your perspective. I am not against them, hey- they are declaring your LOVE!!

renewd42 said...

I did it, only last year! I love your blog, i must say! but yeah, I see nothing wrong, its like all of our lives as a christian, its more the message, not how we carry it. LOL blessings, check out my blog, and feel free to join me, there. Love to have you along.
http://faithonthemountains.blogspot.com/

wife.mom.nurse said...

I agree fully with your perspective. Well put.

I, for one, really like your new ink...and Hunter's is amazing! (I hope it has calmed down, looks pretty darn sore in that photo!)

Take care,

Julie

prashant said...

Thanks for sharing...something interesting to think about this morning. Enjoy your day.
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