Hey guess what?
I’m a Christian.
And I have a tattoo. Also? I’ve got a plan for more.
Not long ago someone I love got a tattoo and totally dug it, so he posted a pic of it on social media so his friends could see it. He was bombarded by comments – some were good ones, but there were a LOT of negative ones.
Wait a second…is it 2014 or 1914???
But in a way I’m part of the problem, myself…I never told anyone at my church in Pensacola about my tattoo. I didn’t advertise it. It’s pretty subtle anyway, but I never pointed it out. I didn’t want to get kicked off the worship team for having ink. I’m not sure I would have, but ten or so years ago a kid was asked to stop playing guitar in the band because he got his eyebrow pierced. So I wasn’t taking any chances.
I’ve been consciously hiding my ink from my Christian circle. They’re the only ones who would care or who would judge me, sadly. I’m not saying everyone would. But there are certain legalistic folks who would be very pious about it.
Here’s my opinion. God doesn’t care about my outsides. He cares about my insides. He says it right in his Word, see? So when you judge someone for having ink, or a piercing, or purple hair, or cheap shoes, or the wrong clothes, you are doing the OPPOSITE of what God says HE does. Remember those bracelets that said WWJD? Jesus would definitely not judge (and in scripture he clearly DID NOT) on outer appearances.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
And really…having a tattoo nowadays is so not counterculture. It’s very mainstream. No one is going to see my tattoo and think I’m some kind of hellion, trust me. I mean…have you SEEN the rest of me? 🙂 I didn’t get mine because it was trendy or cool. I’m the polar opposite of cool. I’ve never been cool a day in my life. I got it because it was a design that MEANT SOMETHING to me.
My life isn’t what I always dreamed it would be. And that’s a good thing, because what I dreamed it would be was honestly pretty selfish. My life has stretched me more than I’d like, but I’m so much stronger, more compassionate, and more thoughtful because of it. But it’d be a lie for me to say that I never lose hope…that I never wail to my nearest and dearest that life stinks and I’m a worthless human being and don’t deserve any good thing *ever*.
I lose hope all the time.
But here’s another scripture, one that God has made my marching orders.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
I need hope flowing out of my heart and into my life. I need it in my head and all through my spirit. I need it running through my veins with every heartbeat. So I got it placed permanently where I will always be able to see it, as a reminder to keep hoping even when there seems to be nothing good happening in life.
So all that to say this. I have a tattoo. I’m a Christian. I don’t think God cares. He cares that I love him, that I try to show Jesus to those in my life by loving them, and that I attempt to honor him in all that I do.
And I like seeing that hope flows through my veins.