What does Bible say about having a tattoo? Is it a sin? Should one get a tattoo if he is Christian? Let’s find out together.
When talking about a tattoo and whether the Bible calls it a sin, there are several things to take into account.
Usually, when people say that it is a sin to get a tattoo according to the Bible, they refer to the verse in the Old Testament that says: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28)
However, as we know, the Old Testament is no longer the main ruler in the lives of those who truly believe and follow Jesus. Here is a proof for it from the New Testament: “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, tin order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Galatians 3:23-25)
And one more: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
That is why we still a question whether or not the believers can get tattoos. There is no direct answer to it in the New Testament; however, there are verses and passages that provide an explanation and touch this issue.
The first place in the Bible that we should take into consideration when talking about this, defines the term of the beauty. You probably know what I am talking about. Apostle Peter is addressing young (and not only) Christian women by explaining to them what should be considered beautiful and what should not.
We can assume that considering that these women came from different cultures they tried to save their cultural heritage into their new culture perceptive of life. So, piercings, tattoos and different gowns were disputed and sometimes even led to misunderstandings and conflicts inside the church.
That is why Peter tries to help them solve this problem by explaining what real beauty is. He says: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
With these words he is also solving the deep and real motives that might stand behind this search of identity in hair-styles, jewelry and beautiful gowns. He says that this Is not what God views as an important aspect of beauty. God invites us to change our focus from the outside to the inside. That is what really counts.
Therefore, from this we can conclude that if you are getting tattoos only to draw attention or spice up your beauty, then this is a wrong motive and it roots in a sin of pride and desire to be valued and praised. If this is what you want, then getting a tattoo according to your motives is a sin.
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Other than this place in the Bible, there are others that touch the same issue. It is connected to the one we have discussed above, as it is answering the question of what or whom we want to glorify with this act.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) This should be your “litmus paper’: before you get a tattoo, ask yourself whether by doing this you will glorify God in any way? God wants His children to be thoughtful and do everything with a purpose. What purpose do you have when you tattoo or pierce your body? Is God glorified with this or it is you who get to be praised by getting a picture on your body?
Another thing you should keep in mind when thinking about a possibility of “cutting your body” is a simple question of whether you can imagine God asking you to cut your body. Some people state that they get Christian tattoos (meaning that they have some Bible verses tattooed on their body). However, others disagree that God needs to be popularized this way.
When someone sees a man covered with tattoos of Bible, he can hardly be associated with a Christian right away. One thing is to wear a shirt with a Bible verse on it, but another one is getting a tattoo. If you want people to hear about God, you need to speak the truth not to tattoo it on your shoulder.
Here is another verse to ponder on: “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Roman 14:23) If you have doubts about having a tattoo on your body, this might indicate that this thought does not proceed from faith; therefore, can be qualified as a sin.
And finally, God gave us our bodies for a reason. He wants us to glorify Him with them. Everything we do in our bodies should serve one purpose – to glorify God. On top of that, God made it clear for us how He sees our bodies. He states that they are the “temples.”
“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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Can you qualify cutting your body as an act of honoring God? Do not just answer this question with a desire to justify your desire of getting a tattoo, but be honest. This can help you answer these questions and come to a conclusion whether getting a tattoo a sin or not.
As you see, there is no just one “yes or no” answer to this question. Nevertheless, God has left us answers and principles that can guide us in our search for a godly solution. Now you know whether having a tattoo is a sin. There is not much you can do eve you already have it, but these questions can help you make a decision on the future tattooing of your body. Take some time to think it all over and decide on whether Christians should or should not follow these tendencies and cut their bodies.
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