Tattoos and piercing come from the dawn of time but are considered a fad among young people. Many young Christians would like to know if getting tattoos or having piercings is compatible with the Christian life.
Although the Word of God does not explicitly teach us about this, it gives us a course of action that we must follow to walk in harmony with our faith.
Origin and meaning of tattoos.
It is difficult to trace their origin, but often the tattoos had a spiritual value. They could also be the symbol of belonging to a social group and in some cases have therapeutic and medicinal value. The tattoos were often accompanied by various mutilations.
Nowadays, tattoos tend to marginalize, even if we try to democratize them. Their meanings have evolved, they can represent certain key moments in the life of those who wear them or perhaps also purely decorative. Some tattoos are representative of suffering, brokenness, painful separations, or feelings of love. Sometimes too, they represent nothing in particular apart from a fad and a desire to assert oneself by a somewhat spectacular gesture.
The problem with tattoos is that they are indelible. Erasing them requires resorting to expensive and painful laser sessions. If among the unconverted, about one person in three regrets having had a tattoo, especially when his life has evolved in other spheres and directions which means that the meaning of his tattoos no longer applies; among Christians, many will regret it all the more.
If you are a Christian, you do not need to get a tattoo of a cross, the Name of Jesus, or any other emblem to affirm your faith. Walking with God is a matter of commitment and heart and if you want it to be visible, you can always treat yourself to a t-shirt with JESUS written on it.
Origin and meaning of piercings.
Again, there is nothing new under the sun because piercings date back to ancient times. They defined group membership and could also be considered decorative. In some cases, the piercings had a spiritual connotation, such as the tongue piercing which, among the Aztecs and Mayans, was supposed to confer on its wearer the possibility of entering into contact with the gods.
It was in the 70s that piercing came back in force with the BDSM movement, which can be translated as: bonds and discipline, domination and submission, and sadomasochism. Which is not glorious or shiny, because it highlights all forms of sexual and moral depravity.
Nowadays, piercing is more a way to assert yourself and stand out, to differentiate yourself from conventions. It is used by young people to try to affirm their identity and very often, it must be admitted, to get out of their unhappiness caused by the absence of God in their lives.
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A biblical and balanced position.
As Christians, we must assert a clear position in relation to what we see in this world.
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It is not by resembling the people of the world, by following all the wacky and strange fashions that we will be able to bear a serious testimony. It is not your physical appearance that will speak to the hearts of other young people, but the love of Christ that emanates from your words and actions.
For what concerns us personally, we no longer belong to ourselves but we are to Christ. Let us, therefore, glorify the Lord in our body by having a simple, sober, healthy appearance, which is representative of the Lord and which does not attract attention by an external appearance that is eccentric.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have received from God, and which you do not belong to yourselves? For you have been bought with a great price. So glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which belongs to God.