Can having a tattoo limit God's Mercy ?

Jan 19, 2016

A couple of months ago my grandma passed away. I wasn't emotionally moved by her death because I only met her once, I was grieved because my father was grieving--but we will leave that story for another day. As my house was being swarmed with visitors who wanted to pay their respects, I lingered around the family room trying entertain the guests. In the midst of the chatter and catching up, a close family member of mine realized that I had a tattoo on my forearm.

"You have a Tattoo?" she asked, her tone saturated with disappointment.
I nodded and tried to move away from the conversation, but she continued:
“You know God hates tattoos right?”
I smiled awkwardly at her and pretended not to hear the words she had just uttered.

But I was overwhelmed with emotions. A part of me wanted to look at her and tell her to mind her own business, and the other part just wanted to clap back and tell her to read her bible again in the right context.

But, however I handled the conversation wouldn't present a good outcome. Although I didn't respond back to her comment the words resonated in my heart, as though I should be ashamed of who I am in Christ because of a tattoo I had. Her expression and words made me really think. I thought about her quick judgement against me having something that in my culture isn't culturally accepted. I thought about how sometimes people don't really think before they speak ( i'm guilty of that myself) and how words can cut really deep if we're not careful with the words we choose. Even though I was bothered at the moment with what she had said I managed to quickly brush it off.

I got the tattoo before I started to take my relationship with God seriously. Although I heard many Christians say extreme things such as: " You will go to hell if you get one" I mentally prepared myself for the critics who would judge me on my tattoo. So as I pondered those words, I thought about God's grace and mercy. Was his mercy not in my life? Would he punish me and send me to hell because I had a tattoo? There were times I would be afraid to go to church and raise my hand and worship freely. I was so self conscious about what people would say. This really limited my worship. But the same God who knew I had a tattoo on my forearm saved my soul. He redeemed me and made me his. Did he not see that my tattoo would take me to hell ? Yet, Christ still chose to love on me and pour his grace and mercy on my life when no one did.

The topic of tattoos is such a touchy subject to talk about especially for Christians. This post isn't to encourage anyone to go out and get their arm sleeved-- but to grab hold of the reality that telling someone that having a tattoo is going to take them to hell is no way out of love. We tend to forget about all the things that God hates that we do on a daily basis that should doom us to hell.  Like gossip, slander, fornication etc. If we were to highlight all our invisible sins, wouldn't HELL be knocking at our door?

We shouldn’t choose only to refrain to do things because of Hell. We should fear and tremble to do things because God hates it and we want to honor Him. Let our form of worship be to love God not because of our fear of hell.  

In my OPINION there isn’t anything wrong with getting a tattoo. I do encourage you to check your heart and motives as to why you should want one and seek to God for the guidance and direction. I can only speak from my experience and I know that God continues to still love me with a marking on my arm that my culture may not fully accept. The state of our hearts is much more important to God than markings on our body. That’s the truth.  

Let our judgement be pure and out of love so that others who don't know the Lord can feel accepted despite the choices and decisions they have made in the past. To answer the question to the post, Does having a tattoo limit us from God's mercy. The answer is simply--NO!

Although many may not agree with this post. It's not up for debate. I wrote the post to draw upon my own experience and to encourage those who may feel self conscious about having a tattoo

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  | 1 Samuel 16:17|

for the sake of his Love,

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