Tattoos and Body Art
Since the body, as we learned earlier, is the temple of God, I think we need to recognize that we do not own our bodies. They belong to God. "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.
Honor God with your body. Since God did not create you with all that body art and tattoos, I don’t think He expects you to improve upon it. We already learned in Peter that we are not to let the outward be our beauty or our pride. Anyone who has put a tattoo on, or allowed body art to be put on knows that it was done for pride and "beauty". This goes right up against what God teaches.
The whole Bible teaches us that those who are of God have a simple, contented spirit that does not want to draw attention to themselves. Even Jesus did not purposefully draw attention to Himself. The Bible tells us that "Just as there were many who were appalled at Him, his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man… He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed Him not. And his form marred beyond human likeness--." Isaiah 52:14; 53:2, 3.
If you claim to be a "Christian" which means to be "Christ-like", then you must follow in the footsteps of Jesus. You must not mar your body in anyway. You must give it as a sacrifice, not to this world, your friends or the present fad, but to Jesus and eternity.
So what about body piercing?
The same and even more so. The Bible is very plain that we are not to tattoo the body. Leviticus 19:28 declares that you are not to "put tattoo marks on yourselves." That is straight up. It comes from the Lord. Read it. God does not want His masterpieces of art being destroyed by our sick and wicked minds. Now if God is so upset with just putting a mark or tattoo on our bodies, don’t you think He hates it even more if we are cutting ourselves and drilling holes into His divine temple for our own pride and selfish egos? I think so. This also applies for "plastic surgery" when it is about pride and ego.
In ancient times when a pagan person died, it was considered such a loss that those who were relatives and were very close to that person would show their respect and loss by cutting themselves. This was a sign of pagan respect and great sorrow over the loss of the loved one. Yet take a look at what God said about even this cutting of the body for a show of respect. "Do not cut your bodies for the dead…" Leviticus 19:28.
Well, if He does not want us cutting our bodies for the sake of respect and to show our sorrow for the dead loved ones, I don’t think He wants us cutting our bodies for our own selfishness. It is easy to make all kinds of excuses. However, when you lay them at the feet of Jesus, there are no excuses. If you truly love Jesus, you will respect His creation. Anything else is a slap in His face. You are taking the Name of the Lord in vain when you cut your body or put tattoo marks on it, then claim to be a "Christian", one who is "like Christ". That is breaking the third commandment. Anyone who breaks the commandments willingly cannot get into the Kingdom of God.
Okay, but you didn’t know this information when you did these dastardly things to your body. What can you do now? Pray for God to forgive you and never again put a mark on or in or through your temple of the Holy Spirit. When and if you have the opportunity, have them repaired and taken off. Do what you can to cover them respectfully with clothing. And whatever you do, let others know that you were wrong when you did it. Stand up for Jesus. He was hung up for you. Should we do any less for Him?